Malaysia’s shock election result as Mahathir Mohamad wins at 92
MALAYSIA’S outgoing Prime Minister Najib Razak has said he has accepted the “verdict of the people” but didn’t concede defeat to 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad. Source: Al-Jazeera MALAYSIA’S veteran ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad, 92, has won a historic election victory, in a political earthquake that toppled the country’s scandalplagued premier and ousted a regime that had ruled for over six decades. In a stunning political upset that took pundits by surprise, Mahathir’s opposition alliance ended the long hold on power of the Barisan Nasional coalition, which has been in power in Malaysia since its birth as an independent country in 1957. The thumping victory capped a dramatic political comeback for Mahathir, who previously ruled the country with an iron fist for 22 years and came out of retirement to take on Prime Minister Najib Razak after the leader became embroiled in a massive corruption scandal. When he takes power, Mahathir will be the oldest prime minister in the world. Despite the shock result there were no reports of trouble on the streets, where pockets of celebration erupted overnight. Mohamad said he expected to be sworn in as prime minister later Thursday after his stunning election win, adding there was an “urgency” for him to take office.“We expect today for me to be sworn in as prime minister,” he told a press conference, addressing concerns over a de- lay by saying that some “confusion” over the process had now been cleared. A flag-waving crowd of supporters gathered on a field outside the headquarters of Mahathir’s party near Kuala Lumpur. Suva Selvan, a 48-year-old doctor, said he felt the country had just won its independence. “I feel that with this change we probably can see something better in the future ... our hope for the future is a better government, fair, free and united,” he told AFP. Defeat could just be the beginning of Najib’s troubles. Mahathir has vowed to bring him to justice over allegations that billions of dollars were looted from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, which the scandal-hit leader set up and oversaw. But at a press conference after his win, Mahathir vowed: “We are not seeking revenge. We want to restore the rule of law.” Razak said he accepted the will of the people after the coalition that has led the country for six decades suffered a shock loss. But he did not make a clear concession, and added that it was up to the nation’s king to decide who would become the next prime minister as no single party had won a majority parliament.