Malaysia prepares for elections
Wednesday 03 April 2013
Malaysia's prime minister dissolved Parliament today to call for national elections expected later this month.
The polls will be fiercely contested between Prime Minister Najib Razak's long-ruling National Front coalition and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's three-party alliance.
Mr Najib said in a nationally televised address that he has obtained royal consent from Malaysia's constitutional monarch to dissolve Parliament immediately.
The Election Commission is expected to meet within a week to set a polling date. Voting must be held within two months but is widely expected by the end of this month.
Mr Najib urged Malaysians in his 15-minute speech to give the National Front a strong mandate so that it can work to improve "the fate of our children and grandchildren".
The National Front's current five-year mandate had been scheduled to end on April 30.
At stake are 222 seats in Parliament and control of 12 Malaysian states. The National Front won 2008 elections with less than a two-thirds parliamentary majority, its poorest results in more than five decades of uninterrupted rule since independence from Britain in 1957.
Mr Najib was marking exactly four years as prime minister today. He succeeded Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who was pressured to step down after being blamed for weak leadership that contributed to the National Front's electoral setback.
Mr Anwar's opposition alliance wrested control of several states in 2008 by pledging to curb long-entrenched problems including corruption and racial discrimination.
Mr Najib has intensified efforts to win back support over the past year with measures such as channelling more funds to the poor and abolishing security laws that were widely considered repressive.
Most analysts believe Mr Najib's coalition will still have the upper hand because of its support in predominantly rural constituencies that hold the key to a large number of Parliament's seats.
- 1 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 What are your fingerprint words?
Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
Jennifer Lawrence: Leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by users
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...
£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...