Mahathir Mohamad took his oath of office as Malaysia’s prime minister in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. The 92-year old won a surprising victory against the political coalition that has dominated the country since independence 55 years ago.
Dr Mahatir, who previously served as prime minister for 22 years, struck an extraordinary victory over the incumbent Najib Razak and his ruling Barisan Nasional coalition (BN). Mr Najib would not immediately concede defeat to his former mentor but supporters of Mahatir gathered with flags outside the Istana Negara palace in Kuala Lumpur.
While while Najib Razak had been expected to lose the popular vote. Many believed he would keep his office by winning the majority of parliamentary seats in a first-past-the-post system. Critics claimed that the arrangement was weighted in favour of his ruling BN coalition.
Dr Mahatir came out of retirement to challenge the prime minister he accused of being tainted by a multibillion dollar graft scandal.
The Election Commission showed that Mahathir’s grouping Pakatan Harapan secured 121 parliamentary seats of the 112 needed to form a government. BN lost 54 seats from the 133 the previously held to win 79 seats.
Sources: The Telegraph, Reuters