Malaysian Prime Minister dissolves Parliament, makes way for elections

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

File:Abdullah Badawi.JPG

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2006.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today announced the dissolution of the Parliament of Malaysia. Badawi, also known informally as Pak Lah, has been expected for some time to call for parliamentary elections.

Only yesterday, the Prime Minister had responded to journalists that he would do "no such thing" today.

In a response to the announcement, Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang expressed his regrets on the time of calling elections, as it, in his words, "showed insensitivity and disrespect to the Chinese New Year celebrations".

Another opposition figure, Lim Guan Eng of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), made a statement condemning what he called the misuse and abuse of the media "where only negative news about the DAP and the opposition are published, whereas positive news is ignored". He cited as an example a video clip that was apparently being shown before the evening news, which in his words linked the DAP with street violence.

The five year term of parliament would have come to its regular end on May 16, 2009, more than a year from now. By law the election of the new parliament must be held at the latest 60 days after the preceding one is dissolved.

The actual date on which the polls are to be held is to be announced tomorrow.