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Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Parlimen / Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Dewan Rakyat / House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Dewan Negara / Senate
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 9 May 2018
Purpose of elections The Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) opposition coalition (see note), led by the former long-serving Prime Minister Mohamad Mahathir, won the majority in the 222-member House of Representatives, thereby ousting Prime Minister Najib Razak's National Front (BN) coalition which had governed the country since Malaysia's independence from Britain in 1957.

On 10 May, Mr. Mahathir, 92, was sworn in as Prime Minister, becoming the world’s eldest elected head of government. He stated that King has agreed to grant a full pardon to the opposition leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Ibrahim Anwar (see note 2), On 21 May, Mr. Mahathir formed a new Cabinet. Ms. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (Mr. Anwar's wife and President of the People's Justice Party, PKR), became the first woman Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Prior to the 2018 elections, the BN faced public anger over the cost of living and a corruption scandal involving a state-owned investment fund that emerged in 2015. In January 2018, Mr. Mahathir announced that he would contest the 2018 elections as the Pakatan Harapan's premier candidate, with the stated goal of ousting his former protégé, Prime Minister Najib. During the election campaign, the BN promised more public holidays, no toll charges during Eid and tax exemptions for Malaysians under 26 years old. The Pakatan Harapan promised to abolish the consumption tax (known as GST) and to fight corruption.

Note 1:
The Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) was formed in 2015 by three opposition parties: the People's Justice Party (PKR), the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Amanah Negara (PAN, a splinter party of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS). The PKR, the DAP and the PAS had formed Pakatan Rakyat (People's Alliance, led by Mr. Anwar) for the 2013 elections but the alliance subsequently collapsed.

Note 2:
For five years in the 1990s Mr. Anwar was the country's deputy prime minister, before falling from favour and finding himself at the centre of a series of court cases involving allegations of corruption and sodomy. In 2008 he was again charged with sodomy. After a lengthy court battle, he was cleared in 2012. In 2014 the court battles were resumed. Anwar Ibrahim's previous acquittal was overturned and a five-year jail term handed down. Prior to the 2018 elections, Mr. Mahathir promised to secure a royal pardon for Mr. Anwar and announced that he would hand over the prime ministerial post to Mr. Anwar within two years.
Date of previous elections: 5 May 2013

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 6 April 2018

Timing of election:Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: May 2023

Number of seats at stake: 222 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 686 (626 men, 60 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 8.7%

Number of parties contesting the election: 24

Number of parties winning seats: 6

Alternation of power: Yes

Number of parties in government: 4

Names of parties in government: People's Justice Party (PKR), the Democratic Action Party (DAP), Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and Parti Amanah Negara (PAN)

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 16 July 2018

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof
Voter turnout
Round no 19 May 2018
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
People's Justice Party (PKR)
National Front (BN)
Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS)
Democratic Action Party (DAP)
Sabah Heritage Party (WARISAN)
Independents (BEBES)
Homeland Solidarity Party (SOLIDARITI)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
People's Justice Party (PKR) 104
National Front (BN) 79
Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) 18
Democratic Action Party (DAP) 9
Sabah Heritage Party (WARISAN) 8
Independents (BEBES) 3
Homeland Solidarity Party (SOLIDARITI) 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
The distribution of seats according to sex includes the male Speaker who is not one of the 222 directly elected members.

Parliament (21.05.2018, 17.07.2018)
BBC Monitoring

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