Malaysia Awakens: Opposition Coalition Pakatan Harapan Wins Election
For Malaysia, 9 May 2018 was a historic day. This is the first time the nation will see a change of government since independence in 1957. The opposition coalition of Malaysia, Pakatan Harapan led by Mahathir Mohamad and Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, achieved victory in the 14th General Election with 122 number of seats in the Parliament, while the 60-year ruling coalition National Front (Barisan Nasional/BN) led by caretaker Prime Minister Najib Razak won a total of 79 parliamentary seats (source: Malaysiakini). With all 222 seats in the country's Parliament accounted for, Mahathir's coalition achieved enough seats to form a simple majority and take control of the House. Barisan Nasional, in contrast, achieved a far cry from the 133 it won in the 2013 election.
Pakatan Harapan comprises of 4 parties, namely: Bersatu, PKR, DAP and Amanah. Seats won by allies who are not part of the Harapan coalition - namely Parti Warisan Sabah and independent P Prabakaran - are also included in Pakatan Harapan's tally.
Having the first-past-the-post election system, if one party obtains a majority of seats, then that party is entitled to form the government, with its leader as Prime Minister. Mahathir Mohamad, 92, was sworn in as Malaysia's 7th Prime Minister on Thursday night (May 10), hours after former Prime MInister Najib Razak said that he accepted the will of the people.
Malaysia's voting age is 21 years and above with a voting age population of 18,359,670. Voter turnout was recorded at 81.38% out of 14,940,624 voters nationwide.