Kuala Lumpur, Feb.25:
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at 94 the world’s oldest leader, submitted his resignation to the king on Monday after a bid by his allies to bring down the government and block the succession of leader-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim.
The shock move followed 24 hours of political drama which saw an attempt by Anwar’s rivals within his own “Pact of Hope” coalition, which stormed to a historic election victory in 2018, and opposition politicians to form a new government.
The coalition would reportedly have excluded Anwar, Mahathir’s presumptive successor, and most of the lawmakers from his party, which would have stopped him becoming premier any time soon.
Anwar and Mahathir have a notoriously stormy relationship but they reconciled ahead of the 2018 polls, and Mahathir has repeatedly promised to hand over power to his former foe.
The bid appeared to have fizzled out by early Monday, however — before Mahathir’s office announced he had “sent a resignation letter as prime minister of Malaysia” to the king at 1:00 pm.
What would happen next was far from clear, however.
However, Mahathir’s party Bersatu also announced it was leaving the “Pact of Hope” coalition — suggesting they could be making their own attempt to form a government.