Current Affairs

Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad resigns, pulls out of ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition

Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad Resigns: Mahathir Mohamad – the Prime Minister of Malaysia, submitted his resignation to the country’s king, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah on February 24, 2020, as per media reports.

Mahathir’s PPBM has also pulled out of the ruling Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) coalition, throwing the country into renewed political turmoil. The resignation of 94-year-old veteran politician and two-time Prime Minister comes following an on-going rift with his presumptive successor Anwar Ibrahim. Following his resignation as the PM, Mahathir also resigned as the chairman of PPBM.

Political Turmoil in Malaysia

Resignation of Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad comes in the wake of long going battle in the ruling coalition which comprises many stakeholders. The key parties in the Pakatan Harapan coalition include Mahathir’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia i.e. PPBM or United Indigenous Party of Malaysia; Anwar Ibrahim‘s Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Democratic Action Party (DAP) which commands ethnic Chinese as its vote bank.

According to media reports, the Pakatan Harapan coalition rose to power on May 9, 2018 with its key stakeholders through a power-sharing pre-poll arrangement. Under this arrangement, Mahathir Mohamad was to retain Prime Ministership of the country for the first 2.5 years followed by Anwar Ibrahim, who would take over after him during the rest of the term. However, Anwar Ibrahim, earlier, claimed betrayal by Mahathir, who didn’t give any signs of handing over Prime Ministership to him as committed before polls. Due to this, Mahathir Mohamad supporters are believed to have staged this ‘self-coup’ through his resignation and also pulled out their party from the ruling coalition.

Constitutional Compulsions

According to political pundits, while Malaysia is surely going through political turmoil; immediate elections are highly unlikely in the country. According to the Malaysian Constitution, which is based on the British Westminster system – the King is required to appoint a prime minister who commands the confidence of the majority of the Dewan Rakyat, the lower house of Malaysia’s bicameral parliament. With the ‘self-coup’ staged by Mahathir supporters, and Democratic Action Party (DAP) backing Mahathir; he is expected to be back as Prime Minister soon.

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