After many days of post-election stalemate, Malaysia’s veteran opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been chosen the country’s next prime minister.
After elections over the weekend produced an unprecedented deadlock in the legislature, King Sultan Abdullah made the decision to pick a new leader for the country.
Neither Mr. Anwar nor the previous prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, had secured the simple majority that is required to establish a government.
At 17:00 hours, the King will administer the oath of office to Mr. Anwar (09:00 GMT).
According to the news agency AFP, a statement issued by the palace said, “after taking into consideration the views of Their Royal Highnesses the Malay Rulers, His Majesty has given consent to appoint Anwar Ibrahim as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia.” The statement was quoting from “after taking into consideration the views of Their Royal Highnesses the Malay Rulers.”
The Pakatan Harapan (PH) party of Mr. Anwar, which won the largest share of seats in Saturday’s election, does not have enough seats on its own to form a government, and it is not immediately clear which party he will enter into a coalition with. However, the party won the largest share of seats in the election.
The selection of the 75-year-old man brings to a close a journey that spanned many decades; he always wanted to be the leader of his country.
In the 1990s, he held the position of deputy prime minister in the country. However, he was forced out of that position after being convicted of not one but two separate acts of sodomy during the administration of Mahathir Mohamad, who was the prime minister at the time. He contends that the charges were politically motivated.
In a surprising turn of events in 2018, he worked along with Mr. Mahathir to write history as PH brought an end to the hegemony of Barisan Nasional.
But two years later, when Mr. Mahathir quit as prime minister and the ruling coalition fell apart, it was defeated and lost power, throwing Malaysia into a period of political uncertainty and leaving Mr. Anwar without any authority at all for the second time.