Singapore, 20 Oct (EFE).- The Election Commission of Malaysia announced on Thursday that the country will hold its next general elections on 19 November, after the incumbent Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, dissolved the parliament on 10 October following more than two years of political unrest.
According to the Election Commission statement, the candidates’ would file nominations on 5 November, in order to secure the permissible two-week campaign period.
More than 20 million Malaysians are registered to vote in a new government in the elections convened for 222 parliamentary seats.
The elections are expected to put a stop to the political crisis affecting the country since 2020, triggered by the resignation of the prime minister at the time, Mahathir Mohamed.
Since the 2018 elections, won by the Mahathir-led Pakatan Harahap political coalition – which ousted the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) from power for the first time in history – the country has had three prime ministers, including the last two from UMNO.
The UMNO decided to go for early elections – the government’s term was to send in September 2023 – fearing that the likely negative future economic course of the country could play against them.
Since Malaysia gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1957, UMNO has always been part of the ruling dispensation, barring the two years led by Mahathir.
Mahathir, 97, said on Tuesday that he is ready to lead the country for the third time – having served as the prime minister for 24 years spread over two terms – if his Homeland Fighters’ Party (Pejuang) was voted to power.
The elections are expected to throw up a close contest without a clear winner, even though the ruling Barisan Nasional alliance (which includes UMNO) believes it will win enough seats to remain in power after their defeat in 2018, when the then Prime Minister, Najib Razak, lost to Mahathir.
Najib’s defeat was triggered by the corruption scandal in state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), established by the ex-PM, who is currently serving a 12-year prison term. EFE