May 9 (UPI) — Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad returned to power Wednesday, ending the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition’s more than six decades in control.
The Pakatan Harapan opposition coalition won 112 seats in the 222-seat government, unseating BN — formerly the Alliance Party — for the first time since 1957. Mahathir said he hoped his swearing in as prime minister would take place Thursday.
He unseated his former protege, Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was accused of taking $700 million from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad, a state investment fund. Mahathir quit the BN in 2016, accusing lawmakers in the coalition of corruption.
“We are not seeking revenge, we want to restore the rule of law,” Mahathir said of Najib.
On the night before the election, Najib offered multiple incentives for voters to re-elect lawmakers belonging to the BN, including public holidays next week, an income tax waiver for Malaysians under the age of 26 and free toll days during Eid al-Fitr.