Malaysian prime minister says Parliament to be dissolved to enable fresh elections

Malaysian PM Dissolves Parliament, Two Months Before Term Ends

On Friday, Mohamad said it would be a "dirty election".

Also present with Najib during the telecast was deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and other Cabinet ministers.

Meanwhile, members of the press began assembling at the gates of the Istana Negara here since 7am, anticipating Najib's arrival to seek the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V's consent to dissolve Parliament.

"The king has permitted for parliament to be dissolved effective Saturday, April 7", Najib said in a special announcement on the state TV broadcaster.

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The government has indeed implemented an inclusive and comprehensive transformation which has yielded at least seven successes for the people and country since 2009, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Voting must be held within 60 days.

He stoked further controversy last week by pushing a law through parliament to redraw the electoral map that critics say greatly tilts the election in favour of his ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

It now holds 132 out of 222 parliamentary seats.

But a weaker result, even if the coalition retains power, could lead to an internal leadership challenge against Mr Najib.

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Najib has denied any wrongdoing.

Najib has clung on to power despite being embroiled in a corruption scandal that involved hundreds of millions of dollars passing through his bank accounts believed linked to the 1MDB state fund. Transactions related to 1MDB are under investigation in six countries including the US, Singapore and Switzerland. It is expected to fall in early May, just short of the official end of the government's five year term on June 24.

However victory has become less certain since 92-year-old Mahathir - who was premier for over two decades - came out of retirement to take on one-time protege Najib at the head of the opposition.

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