Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has dissolved parliament, making room for a general election that must be held within two months. The prime minister has appealed to voters to back his government’s record of delivering economic growth.
However, the government’s critics accuse him of being corrupt and wasting Malaysia’s natural resources.
Mr. Najib, whose National Front coalition has been in power for over 50 years, made the dissolution announcement in a televised address. He will face opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in what is expected to be a tightly-contested race, with polls pitting his National Front coalition against Ibrahim.
The National Front lost its two-thirds majority for the first time in the 2008 elections, when the coalition suffered its worst election result in decades. Election officials are to meet soon to fix a polling date. Many expect the vote to be held in late April.
“The king has accepted my request to dissolve parliament effective 3 April”, said Mr. Najib in the address.
Mr. Najib was constitutionally obliged to call a general election in April, when the National Front’s five-year mandate ran out.