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AFP
September 24, 2020

Anwar has ‘backing’ to form govt

World

AFP
September 24, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian opposition chief Anwar Ibrahim said on Wednesday he had “formidable” support from MPs to form a new government, but the prime minister insisted he remained the country’s legitimate leader.

The Southeast Asian nation has been in turmoil since an alliance that swept to power in 2018, which was headed by Mahathir Mohamad and included Anwar, collapsed in February amid bitter infighting.

Muhyiddin Yassin became premier at the head of a coalition backed by a scandal-plagued party which had been ousted at the polls two years earlier, but with only a wafer-thin majority in parliament.

Speaking at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, veteran politician Anwar — who has long sought to become prime minister -- said he now had the backing of enough MPs to form the government and oust Muhyiddin. “Conclusively we have a strong, formidable majority,” the 73-year-old said. “The government under the leadership of Muhyiddin Yassin has fallen.” However, there were immediately doubts over his claim as he did not reveal how many MPs were backing him or which parties they were from. A government must command the support of a majority of the 222 MPs in parliament.

To form a new government Anwar must prove to the king, who formally appoints Malaysia’s premiers, that he has enough support in parliament, and he has yet to meet the monarch. He said an audience with the king originally planned for Tuesday had been postponed as the monarch was having medical treatment. The national palace confirmed a meeting had been scheduled.