Malaysia’s ruling coalition wins simple majority in general election

March 9th, 2008 - 3:07 am ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, March 9 (Xinhua) Malaysia’s ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN), or National Front, won a simple majority in the 12th general election held Saturday, according to the preliminary results. As of 1:30 a.m. Sunday, the BN has won 127 seats, exceeding a simple majority in the country’s 222-seat parliament, Election Commission chairman Rahid announced at a press conference here.

The opposition Democratic Action Party won 22, the People’s Justice Party won 18, and the Islamic Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, or PAS, won 13, the EC chairman said.

The biggest shock in the election came for Works Minister Samy Vellu, chief of the Malaysian Indian Congress, one of the parties in the ruling National Front coalition. Vellu lost the seat he had held for nearly 30 years, because many Indians thought he was out of touch with their concerns.

In the provincial elections, the ruling BN faced its biggest electoral defeat as the opposition claimed victories in five of the 13 states, putting Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmed Badawi’ s political future at risk.

According to the EC, the BN has won a simple majority in the state legislative assemblies such as Johor, Malacca, Perlis, Terrenggaru, Pahang, Sembilan.

The Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) reportedly won a simple majority in the state of Kelantan, while the leftist Chinese-backed Democratic Action Party (DAP) won in Penang, a manufacturing hub that is home to many multinational firms.

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