The Barisan Nasional ruling coalition led by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is a coalition led by former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Early polls in Malaysia’s hotly contested election show a tight race between former Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s multi-ethnic alliance.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s Barisan Nasional Coalition – led by his party United Malays National Organization (UMNO) – was disrupted in several seats by its alliance with Perikatan Nasional, or Muhyiddin’s National Alliance.
By 18:00 GMT, the electoral commission announced the results of 150 of the 222 seats in the parliament. Opposition leader Anwar’s Alliance led with 50 seats, while Muhyiddin’s alliance was a close second with 48 seats.
The anti-corruption coalition Barisan Nasional, which ruled Malaysia since independence from Britain until 2018, could return to power based on post-election deals.
Among those who failed in the elections was the former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is 97 years old leading a Malawian party. Mahathir came fourth out of five races in his constituency on the holiday island of Langkawi, the election commission said.
As Malaysians head to the polls in a country that has had three prime ministers for years, polls have predicted Anwar’s coalition will win more seats in parliament but fall short of the majority needed to form a government.
But Muhyiddin’s new coalition, which includes the Malay-Conservative Party and an Islamic party that advocates Islamic law, made significant gains.
Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional was a minority partner in Ismail’s coalition government. If the results are close, the two may come together to stop Anwar.
If Anwar takes the top job, it will be a remarkable journey for a politician who, in 25 years, has gone from a successor to the Ministry of Health to a prisoner convicted of sodomy, to the leader of the country’s opposition.
Al Jazeera’s Florence Looi reporting from outside Kuala Lumpur said the results were similar to what polls predicted would be one party with a “clear majority”.
“There is no single party that has enough seats to form a government on its own. Now this means that the smaller parties will be able to play kingmaker and I hope that negotiations and horse trading would have already started without closed doors. “
However, opposition leader Ibrahim said his coalition has enough support from lawmakers to form a government despite the neck-and-neck results.
Anwar did not identify any lawmakers or political parties as his supporters. Earlier, Yassin claimed victory but his camp did not comment.
About 70 percent of Malaysia’s 21.1 million eligible voters had cast their ballots by 4pm Pacific Time (08:00 GMT), the election commission said. He did not give a final estimate.
Voter turnout in the previous election was one of the highest at 82 percent, but due to the high turnout in this election, the number of people who voted on Saturday had already exceeded previous elections by almost 2 million voters.
Most of the time visitors are biased against the opposition.