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Malaysia: 92-year-old Mahathir shocks PM Najib, to become world’s oldest leader

Malaysia’s opposition alliance, led by the country’s former ruler, Mahathir Mohamad has won a majority in parliament in a shock result.
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The victory of Mahathir, the country’s authoritarian leader for 22 years until 2003, ends the 60-year rule of the incumbent party.

The Election Commission said official results had the opposition so far winning 113 seats out of 222. The Barisan Nasional (BN), or National Front, has so far won 79.

Dr Mahathir’s stunning defeat of the ruling coalition means that at the age of 92, he will become the oldest elected leader in the world.

Ahead of the election, Mahathir came out of retirement and collaborated with his one-time protege, Anwar Ibrahim currently in jail.

The duo capitalized on public disenchantment over the cost of living and a multibillion-dollar scandal that has dogged Mr Najib since 2015.

Mahathir promised to seek a royal pardon for Anwar if they won the election and, once he is free, to step aside and let him become prime minister.

In a televised address, he said a representative of Malaysia’s constitutional monarchy had contacted the opposition to acknowledge its victory, and that a prime minister would be sworn in within a day.

Mahathir said Thursday and Friday would be public holidays, a swipe on Mr Najib, who had promised public holidays if his coalition won.

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