KUALA LUMPUR: Several days after he quit as Malaysian prime minister and the chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), Dr Mahathir Mohamad has returned as the party chief.
Party secretary-general Marzuki Yahya said in a statement on Thursday (Feb 27) that Dr Mahathir has agreed to resume the position with immediate effect.
The 94-year-old had on Monday dropped the bombshell that he was stepping down as prime minister and Bersatu's chairman.
On the same day, Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin announced that Bersatu was pulling out of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
Bersatu's supreme council refused to accept Dr Mahathir's resignation in a meeting on Tuesday, said Mr Marzuki.
"After a discussion today and after Tun reconsidered (his decision), he has agreed to return as Bersatu chairman with immediate effect," he said in the statement.
Dr Mahathir's resignation and Bersatu's departure from PH had triggered a political upheaval in Malaysia, which saw all Cabinet ministers relieved of their duties and political parties scrambling to strategise their next moves.
The king has appointed Dr Mahathir as interim prime minister.
The king also summoned all members of parliament to the palace for interviews to gauge who commands the majority of the House.
On Wednesday, Dr Mahathir said in a televised address that he wished to form a non-partisan unity government.
However, the idea was rejected by Mr Anwar Ibrahim-led PH as well as the Opposition coalition Barisan Nasional and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia.
PH leaders, in a press conference, said their choice of prime minister is now Mr Anwar, following Dr Mahathir’s no-show at a PH presidential council meeting on Tuesday.