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November 24, 2022, 05.14 PM - The king of Malaysia had approved opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister, according to a statement from Malaysia's royal palace on Thursday, Nov. 24.

The appointment, the highlight of a roller-coaster political career, brings to an end five days of unprecedented post-election confusion after the polls delivered no obvious winner.

What we know so far

Running on an anti-corruption platform, Anwar's Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) coalition garnered the most seats, 82. However, that was well short of the required 112-seat majority.

Former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's rightist Perikatan Nasional (National Alliance) grouping managed 73 seats. However, even with the backing of an Islamist party, Muhyiddin said his political bloc did not have enough seats.

The stalemate was resolved after the coalition led by Muhyiddin's Malaysian United Indigenous Party, also known as Bersatu, agreed to be part of a unity government under Anwar.

Also readMalaysia Election Set for Nov. 19 Amid Fear of Floods

"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 royal statement said.

The coalition led by Anwar is a multi-ethnic one with a more progressive agenda than Muhyiddin's, which reflects more conservative ethnic Malay and Muslim views. Many rural Muslim Malays fear that greater pluralism under Anwar means they may lose their privileges.

Malaysia's long-ruling Barisan Nasional bloc — which dominated the country's politics since independence in 1957 — won only 30 seats, representing that coalition's worst polling performance.


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