No clear winner in M'sia GE15, country faces first-ever hung parliament

None of the coalitions secured the majority of 112 seats.

Ashley Tan | November 20, 2022, 01:31 PM

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Malaysia's 15th General Election (GE15) has failed to deliver a clear winner as none of the coalitions won an outright majority in the 222-seat Parliament.

The country now faces its first-ever hung parliament, with the three main national coalitions falling short of securing the required 112 seats to form government.

Did not secure majority seats

As of Nov. 20 at around 4:30am, Anwar Ibrahim's Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Muhyiddin Yassin's Perikatan Nasional (PN) were neck and neck having secured 81 seats and 73 seats respectively.

Meanwhile, Barisan Nasional (BN) lagged behind with 30 seats, reported CNA.

"Based on the results, there is no one party that managed to secure a majority of more than 50 per cent of the total seats contested," said Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Salleh, the New Straits Times (NST) reported.

Ghani announced that the total voter turnout for GE15 was 73.89 per cent.

Former two-time Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, garnered less than 10 per cent of the vote for the seat of Langkawi.

Forming an alliance

As no one coalition has won a majority, this means that a combination of parties will have to build a majority alliance to form a government; the two coalitions with the largest number of seats, PH and PN, are expected to start negotiating with other parties within the next 48 hours, reported NST.

This potentially leaves the Borneo-based coalitions of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) — who secured 22 and six seats respectively — as king-makers.

However, as of Nov. 20, 6am, there "has been no signal" if either coalition has "reached an understanding with other parties to enter Putrajaya together", and it is uncertain if the new government will be formed within the next few days, NST wrote.

In a Nov. 20 Facebook post, Muhyiddin shared that he'd met with GPS chairperson Abang Johari Openg to discuss the potential of forming a government.

According to CNN, Malaysia’s constitutional monarch may also become involved, as he has the power to appoint as Prime Minister a lawmaker whom he believes can command a majority.

Several options

Constitutional expert Shad Saleem Faruqi told NST that with the current situation, Malaysia would have to look for solutions through the conventions of parliamentary democracy practised in other countries.

He cited the UK, where the party that has won the largest number of seats "will be given the first bite of the cherry to try to form the government".

Another option is what he termed the "incumbency principle", where the incumbent government "will be given the chance" to form the government.

On this, Shad elaborated that Ismail Sabri Yaakob, caretaker prime minister of Malaysia, could continue to lead a caretaker government until the two coalitions reach an agreement with other parties.

Top photo from Anwar Ibrahim Facebook and Mohd Rasfan/AFP via Getty Images