KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan (PH) has backed Mr Anwar Ibrahim as Malaysia’s eighth prime minister, as the king continued to interview members of parliament (MPs) amid a power vacuum.
Lawmakers from Mr Anwar’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) told Malaysian media on Wednesday (Feb 26) that they have named him as their preferred choice before King Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Amanah Negara were expected to do the same.
The audiences with the king beginning Tuesday came a day after Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned as prime minister and chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), which also pulled out of PH.
The king then decided to meet the rest of the 221 MPs to gauge who commands the majority in the House.
PKR’s Wangsa Maju MP Tan Yee Kew told reporters at Istana Negara that she had signed a statutory declaration (SD) supporting Mr Anwar, who was the prime minister-in-waiting according to a PH consensus back in 2018.
“We are giving our support to Anwar as the eighth prime minister,” Mdm Tan was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insight.
“Just now, we signed an SD to this effect and we are fully with Anwar,” she said.
“I believe Amanah and DAP are with us.”
A press conference is expected to be held at PKR headquarters at 4.30pm.
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Quoting sources, Sin Chew Daily reported that DAP’s choice would also be Mr Anwar.
DAP has 42 seats in the Parliament, while PKR has 39 after an exodus of 11 MPs led by deputy president Azmin Ali.
Amanah, meanwhile, has 11 seats, bringing the total to 92.
Bersatu, which has 26 seats, has announced its support for Dr Mahathir to lead the country. Gabungan Parti Sarawak, which has 18 MPs, has done the same.
Separately, United Malays National Organisation and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, with 29 and 18 MPs respectively, retracted their support for Dr Mahathir on Tuesday night after learning of his intention to form a unity government. They said they could not accept working with DAP.
Also rejecting a unity government was Malaysian Chinese Association, which has two MPs.