Tuesday, May 17, 2022

We can’t afford to break up, Mahathir says on gathering forces ahead of GE15

He says he expects that the parties that are against BN will come together to form a new pact ahead of the next general election.

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Dr Mahathir Mohamad expects that the parties that are against Barisan Nasional (BN) will band together to form a new political coalition ahead of the 15th general election (GE15).

The Pejuang chairman said calls had already arisen from the opposition bloc for the formation of such a pact, following the realisation that divisions had allowed what he described as a party embroiled in corruption to win the recent state elections.

“We cannot afford to stand divided because it is clear that this is what caused us to lose, as well as a drop in our support.

“BN only managed to get the support of 53% in the state election,” he added.

“Even with 53%, it controls two-thirds and has the right to amend the state constitution.”

Although the government was formed through a minority vote, he added, BN eventually obtained a two-thirds majority.

At the Johor state election on March 12, a total of 1,426,573 out of 2.5 million voters or 54.92% turned out to vote.

The state fell to Pakatan Harapan (PH) at the 2018 general election which saw the coalition led by Mahathir winning 36 seats at the legislative assembly. BN won 19 and PAS, one.

However, the PH government was toppled after Bersatu’s exit from the pact at the federal level in February 2020.

When asked if Pejuang would look for “new partners” for the coalition, Mahathir said several names had been suggested by party leaders for deliberation.

He said this was because Pejuang’s cooperation with its “old partners” had left long-term effects.

On calls for the 15th general election to be held early, he said holding an election without fully preparing for one would only make some quarters happy.

He added that the results of an election held in haste would not be good for the country’s administration.

“The country and the people, especially, must be given enough time to consider what to do.”

Calls for an early election have been spearheaded by Umno leaders who have upped the pressure on Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to dissolve Parliament throughout the party’s ongoing general assembly.

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