NEWS

Harapan backs Anwar as PM?

Malaysiakini Team

Published
Modified 26 Feb 2020, 8:28 am

There are indications that all Pakatan Harapan MPs are declaring their support for PKR president Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister in their interviews with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

It is unclear if Harapan has backtracked on its initial decision to support Mahathir or if a deal has been brokered with the interim prime minister.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a PKR senior leader told Malaysiakini that the party had fully backed Anwar.

Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub confirmed his party's lawmakers also voiced support for Anwar to the King.

DAP is likely to do the same, with a source saying they would “support the formation of a Harapan government.”

There are multiple versions of how this could possibly unravel.

PKR, Amanah and DAP together have 92 seats in the Dewan Rakyat, which is not enough to form a simple majority of 112.

A source told Malaysiakini that Anwar is not too far off from the target of securing a simple majority. He will need another 20 seats. This reportedly includes the possibility of bringing back some of the 11 PKR defectors.

An alternative is that Harapan can form a minority government.

However, Mahathir may still be involved in a possible new government.

Harapan's former allies Bersatu, who have 25 MPs not including Mahathir and the 11 MPs aligned to Azmin Ali, have said they will be backing the interim prime minister.

GPS and their 18 MPs also backed Mahathir. It is not clear who Warisan will back, but its president Shafie Apdal had previously said early in the crisis that his MPs back Mahathir.

A Bersatu source indicated that there was a deal being floated that Mahathir would stay on as prime minister until November, with Anwar as deputy prime minister.

In exchange when Anwar becomes prime minister, Mahathir's son Mukhriz would take over the number two post.

A different source said that Anwar would become prime minister, with Mahathir taking on a minister mentor role, while Mukhriz joins the cabinet.

However, it is unclear if any of these deals had been struck.

A Harapan source indicated that the coalition is open to Mahathir serving as prime minister until November but is not aware if Anwar and Mahathir had reached any agreement since Sunday's attempted coup.

Up until early yesterday, it appeared that all MPs would be declaring their support for Mahathir.

However, BN and PAS did a 180-degree turn, objecting to alleged plans by the interim prime minister to form a government based on individuals instead of along party lines.

They also objected to the prospect of being in a government with DAP.

They have demanded a snap election instead and this could happen if Harapan's gambit fails.

The current crisis was triggered when Azmin's faction teamed up with Umno, PAS, Bersatu, GPS and reportedly Warisan to back a new coalition with Mahathir at the helm.

This was to thwart the Harapan agreement for Mahathir to pass the baton to Anwar after the Apec summit in November.

However, the coup fell apart when Mahathir resigned as prime minister and subsequently as Bersatu chairperson.

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