Party leaders to meet with Malaysia’s king as hunt for next PM begins

The entrance of Malaysia’s National Palace in Kuala Lumpur is pictured on January 23, 2019. (Photo by MOHD RASFAN / AFP)
The entrance of Malaysia’s National Palace in Kuala Lumpur is pictured on January 23, 2019. (Photo by MOHD RASFAN / AFP)

Leaders of all political parties will meet the king today as the hunt for Malaysia’s next prime minister begins. 

The series of meetings with Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah will begin at 2pm and will most likely be related to the vacant prime minister post, according to Vibes. They will include representatives from the Pakatan Harapan, or PH, opposition coalition. 

“Tuanku (the king) has taken cognisance of the fact that PH received the people’s mandate in the 14th general election, and hence wants to ensure that any leader or government who takes over has the buy-in of the people,” the source close to the palace was quoted as saying, noting that the king’s priority is for a stable government to manage the pandemic and economy. 

The quote added: “The last thing the king wants is yet another political crisis. This His Majesty will not tolerate.”

Members of Parliament have also been instructed to submit statutory declarations indicating the name of their choice of prime minister to the Palace by 4pm tomorrow. According to a notice sent by Speaker of the Lower House Azhar Azizan Harun, each lawmaker is required to nominate one MP as the ninth prime minister. Their declarations should include several details that the king will take into account when making his decision, such as the full identification of the MP and a statement declaring their unconditional and clear support for the candidate. 

Under Article 43(2)(a) of the federal constitution, the king must appoint a prime minister from one of the MPs who he thinks has the majority backing. There are 222 MPs in total but two seats representing the Gerik and Batu Sapi constituencies have been vacant since the deaths of the MPs there.

Today’s meetings come a day after Muhyiddin Yassin officially tendered his resignation and announced that he was quitting as prime minister yesterday afternoon. He was appointed caretaker prime minister pending the appointment of his successor.

Ed. note: This story has been updated with more details from Speaker of the Lower House Azhar Azizan Harun.

Other stories:

Malaysian PM Muhyiddin Yassin gives sombre final address

Muhyiddin Yassin’s cabinet resigns: Khairy Jamaluddin

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