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Mahathir sworn in as Malaysia’s 7th prime minister

World | 2018-05-11 03:49:26
Mahathir sworn in as Malaysia’s 7th prime minister
   Mahathir Mohamad, elected Prime Minister of Malaysia, holds a press conference together with the leaders of Pakatan Harapan, the former opposition alliance in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on May 10, 2018. For the first time in 60 years the opposition won the el
Mahathir Mohamad, who led an opposition alliance to a surprise victory in Wednesday’s parliamentary elections, has been sworn in as seventh Prime Minister of Malaysia on Thursday. 

The 92-year-old Mahathir was sworn in at a ceremony held at the State Palace. 

In a statement, the palace rejected the news claiming that King Sultan Muhammad V delayed the appointment of Mahathir. 

The statement added that King Muhammad strongly support and respect democracy and that the reports did not reflect the truth. 

In Malaysia, the prime minister who has administrative powers is appointed by the King who holds largely a ceremonial role. 

Earlier today, speaking at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, Mahathir pressed to form a government, claiming that it currently lacks one.

“We want to form a government urgently,” he said, adding that he could take the oath of office later in the day if King Sultan Muhammad V appoints him to form the government.

“We would like to establish the government by a swearing-in today. Because currently there is no government of Malaysia. We need to establish a government without delay," he added.

The Mahathir-led opposition coalition Harapan Rakya secured 122 deputies in the 222-seat parliament, which is enough to form the government. 

Current Prime Minister Najib Razak accepted the election result after his ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) won only 79 seats in parliament. 

With Wednesday's election result, UMNO lost the driver’s seat for the first time since Malaysia gained independence in 1957.

Mahathir was the country’s prime minister for 22 years, between 1981 and 2003, making him the country’s longest-serving leader. He is also known as a close friend to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Anadolu Agency
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