KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad is proposing to lead a united government and has invited lawmakers from rival political parties to join, political sources said after his shock resignation as prime minister.
Mahathir proposed the idea of a grand coalition to leaders of the major political parties he met on Tuesday morning, including those from his recently collapsed coalition and parties they defeated in the 2018 election, sources said.
Mahathir, who at 94 is the world’s oldest head of government, stepped down on Monday but was immediately named as interim prime minister by Malaysia’s king.
The move effectively broke apart an increasingly fragile coalition Mahathir had formed with old rival Anwar Ibrahim, 72, to win government on an anti-corruption platform in 2018.
In one of his first acts as interim leader, Mahathir disbanded his entire cabinet late on Monday, opening up political negotiations to form another government.
An official from Mahathir’s Bersatu party, which is trying to put together one alliance, said a group of senior members met with Mahathir on Tuesday. The Democratic Action Party, part of a rival faction, also said it wanted Mahathir to remain in office.