Source: Wan Azizah to be Malaysia's first woman prime minister

Azril Annuar
According to a source, Dr Mahathir has designated Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as an interim prime minister after his PPBM party opted to leave the ruling Pakatan Harapan administration. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 ― Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail could be Malaysia’s first woman prime minister following the resignation of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad after an allegedly failed coup to form a backdoor government with opposition parties.

A source told the Malay Mail that Dr Mahathir has designated Dr Wan Azizah as an interim prime minister after his PPBM party opted to leave the ruling Pakatan Harapan administration.

“Wan Azizah is the interim prime minister,” said a source close to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim when asked if she will be replacing Dr Mahathir.

At the same time, the source also said that Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali who is also PKR deputy president and his right-hand woman Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, who was a senior party official had been sacked from PKR.

In a separate Facebook post, PPBM president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the party has decided to leave the ruling coalition that after yesterday’s party meeting involving its senior leaders.

“The PPBM top leadership has decided in a special meeting held on February 23, 2020 to leave Pakatan Harapan.

“All PPBM Members of Parliament have also exited Pakatan Harapan. All of them have signed a statutory declaration to continue supporting Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Malaysia’s prime minister,” said Muhyiddin.

All across Sunday, the political parties of Bersatu, Umno, PAS, Gabungan Parti Sarawak, Parti Warisan Sabah, and the PKR faction aligned with Datuk Seri Azmin Ali gathered for furtive meetings that each tried to play down as “normal” despite their patently atypical nature.

Despite the open speculation that the PH government was about to collapse and be replaced by the new alliance of ruling and Opposition parties, no government leader or representative has come out to deny this and calm the nation.

Instead, the personalities involved have chosen to play coy about the true reason for their gatherings and attempted to pass off their meeting with fierce opponents as casual encounters.

While Anwar described the betrayal as complete last night, it is still unclear if the parties in the purported plot have the numbers to replace Pakatan Harapan.

The coalition and its partner Warisan squeaked into power in 2018 with 121 seats, but has steadily added to this by recruiting lawmakers from Opposition parties, primarily Umno, to bring its representation in Parliament to 139.

However, most joined Bersatu and the departure of its 26 MPs and and Warisan’s nine is certain to undo the government as this would leave PKR, DAP and Amanah with just 104 seats, short of the 112 needed to continue with a simple majority.

This is also before accounting for PKR MPs from Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s so-called cartel who are expected to join the new coalition.

The allegiances of Warisan and GPS are still undeclared, although leaders of both attended a peculiar meeting in the capital here at the same as a hurriedly convened Umno supreme council meeting.

Without their support, the purported coalition government will be stillborn and from the looks of things, Warisan and GPS seemed to have abandoned the attempt to form a government.

 

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