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Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad to become world's oldest elected leader

Mahathir Mohamad

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Mahathir Mohamad will turn into the sector’s oldest elected chief, after a surprise victory in Malaysia’s election.

The previous PM, 92, got here out of retirement and switched to the opposition to problem his former protege Najib Razak, who has been beset via corruption allegations.

His historical win has ousted the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which has been in energy since independence in 1957.

Mr Mahathir stated his coalition would “repair the rule of thumb of legislation”.

Mr Najib has now not but commented on his dramatic loss.

Legit effects confirmed the opposition Pakatan Harapan – the Alliance of Hope – had secured 113 of the 222 being contested, together with some that have by no means earlier than been taken via the opposition. BN took 79 seats.

Saying his victory in Kuala Lumpur, Mr Mahathir stated his coalition had secured “now not only a few votes, now not only a few seats, however an excessively really extensive majority”.

He stated he was hoping a swearing-in rite could be hung on Thursday and introduced – to cheers amongst his supporters – that there could be a two-day vacation.

“However there shall be no vacations for the winners.”

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Opposition supporters – maximum of whom have most effective ever lived below one executive – poured directly to the streets in a single day in birthday celebration.

“I think that with this modification we most probably can see one thing higher someday,” Suva Selvan, a 48-year-old physician, informed AFP.

“Our hope for the longer term is a greater executive, truthful, loose and united.”

Corruption and financial system

Mr Mahathir used to be high minister, on the head of the BN coalition, for 22 years, from 1981 till he stepped down in 2003.

Beneath his management, Malaysia turned into some of the Asian tigers – the gang of nations which noticed their economies increase impulsively within the 1990s. However he used to be an authoritarian determine who used debatable safety regulations to fasten up his political fighters.

Maximum infamously his deputy high minister, Anwar Ibrahim, used to be sacked and accused of corruption and sodomy – and later jailed at the latter price – when he referred to as for financial and political reforms in 1998.

Mr Mahathir used to be additionally a mentor to Najib Razak who went directly to turn into high minister in 2008, however has confronted virtually consistent allegations of corruption.

He has been accused of pocketing some $700m from the 1Malaysian Building Berhad, a state funding fund he arrange.

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Mr Najib used to be extensively anticipated to win regardless of the corruption circumstances

He has vehemently denied all allegations and been cleared via Malaysian government however the fund continues to be being investigated via a number of international locations. Mr Najib has been accused of stifling Malaysian investigations via taking away key officers from their put up.

The financial system has grown below his management, however a emerging price of dwelling and the creation of a brand new items and services and products tax have dented the BN’s positive aspects at earlier elections.

‘Electoral crimes’

In 2016, Mr Mahathir dramatically introduced he used to be leaving the Barisan Nasional to sign up for the Pakatan Harapan. He stated he used to be “embarrassed” to be related “with a celebration this is noticed as supporting corruption”.

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Financial issues had been central as citizens went to the polls on Wednesday

Then in January, he stated he would run for the management once more.

Countering fears about his age, he stated he supposed to manipulate for 2 years earlier than stepping down. He promised he would prepare a pardon for Anwar Ibrahim, clearing the best way for him to be re-elected and take the highest activity.

Forward of the election, there have been allegations that balloting would now not be loose and truthful.

The federal government lately handed a legislation redrawing election obstacles, resulting in accusations that it had gerrymandered constituencies to verify they had been crammed via Malay Muslims, historically BN supporters.

A debatable faux information legislation used to be additionally lately offered, which critics say might be utilized by the government to muffle dissent. Mr Mahathir is himself being investigated below that legislation after alleging that his aircraft have been sabotaged.

And within the days earlier than the ballot, election reform workforce Bersih accused the Election Fee (EC) of a couple of “electoral crimes”, together with irregularities in postal balloting and failing to take away lifeless folks from the electoral roll.

The federal government had insisted the election could be loose and truthful, with Mr Najib pronouncing that the EC acted “for the great of all”.

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