Malaysian PM resigns after losing parliamentary majority

Bangkok, Aug 16 (EFE).- Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin resigned Monday following the political crisis his country has been experiencing for a year and in the face of growing criticism over his Covid-19 pandemic management, according to government reports.

“The cabinet has presented its resignation to the king. Thank you for the opportunity to (let me) serve the nation,” said Khairy Jamaluddin, Science and Technology Minister said on Instagram.

Muhyiddin, who took office in March 2020 after abruptly leaving the ruling coalition as predecessor Mahathir Mohamad stepped down, met government members Monday morning and headed to the National Palace where he presented King Abdullah with his resignation.

The resignation, which has to be accepted by the head of state, entails the automatic dissolution of his cabinet and, if no candidate manages to add a parliamentary majority, it could lead to the holding of early elections.

The president plans to address the nation Monday afternoon through a televised message.

Despite serving just over a year as prime minister, Muhyiddin has shown himself to be a true survivor and on several occasions has managed to seize power and emerge victorious at the last minute in the face of numerous challenges launched by the opposition.

However, Muhyiddin could not avoid the last issue, when parliament held the first sessions of the year at the end of July as a result of the closure of the Legislative Assembly due to the pandemic, and agreed to hold a no confidence motion against his government in September.

The leader unsuccessfully sought to rally the support of at least 111 legislators, which would hve allowed him to retain a simple majority in parliament.

According to political analysts, the current prime minister would only have the support of 100 parliamentarians, while, for now, no other possible candidate to succeed him has the majority support in parliament.

Malaysia’s political crisis comes as the country faces its worst Covid-19 wave of the entire pandemic, in which it has exceeded 21,500 daily cases and more than 350 deaths.

On Jul. 29, King Abdullah publicly disavowed the government and maintained the emergency decree against the pandemic, which Muhyiddin was going to lift from Aug. 1.

Malaysia, with 32 million inhabitants, has detected more than 1.4 million covid-19 infections, including 12,510 deaths, since the start of the pandemic. EFE


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