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5/10/2018 9:26:36 AM

Mahathir's Pakatan Harapan pulls off shock victory at Malaysia general election

Malaysia's Pakatan Harapan alliance headed by veteran ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad, 92, won a historic election victory on Thursday (May 10th).

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad (C) celebrates with other leaders of his Pakatan Harapan coalition during a press conference following the 14th general elections in Kuala Lumpur on early May 10th, 2018. (Photo: AFP/Manan Vatsyayana)

In a stunning result that made political history, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition crossed the minimum threshold of 112 seats needed to form Malaysia's new government, according to figures from the Election Commission early Thursday morning.

The result brings to an end the rule of Barisan Nasional (BN), which has dominated Malaysian politics for decades.

In a press conference just before the official confirmation, PH leader and former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said PH had achieved a victory.

"We have achieved a very substantial majority," said the 92-year-old.

PH component parties Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Democratic Action Party officially crossed the victory threshold at around 4am (local time) after a long night of results which saw power steadily ebbing away from Najib Razak and his United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party. The final official result showed that PH had won 113 seats, with BN on 79.

Dr. Mahathir also said that a palace request has been made for Parti Keadilan Rakyat leader Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to be the designated deputy Prime Minister.

The 92-year-old pledged a government that would include a "young person" and said he would honour his agreement to help secure a royal pardon for jailed leader Anwar Ibrahim.

However, he added that Anwar would have to win a by-election or be elected senator in order for him to take over as prime minister from Dr. Mahathir, as per their agreement./.

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