Malaysia’s Parliament will not hold a special session on Monday to decide the next prime minister, the country’s monarch announced, a day after interim Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the legislative body would do so.
The king made the declaration on Friday, as Mahathir’s own party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, made a surpise announcement that it has nominated party president, Muhyiddin Yassin, as its candidate for prime minister.
With the latest development on Friday, it is now unclear what role the 94-year-old Mahathir would play as chairman of the party, also known as Bersatu. Earlier, the party had said that it wants Mahathir to continue as prime minister.
On Thursday, Mahathir had announced that there will be a special session of parliament on March 2 to select the new prime minister.
He also said that if there is enough support for him, he will stay on as prime minister.
But the announcement on Thursday angered his former coalition allies, led by Anwar Ibrahim, who said it was inappropriate for him to pre-empt a decision by the king, whose powers would be challenged by a vote in parliament. The coalition had earlier nominated Anwar as prime minister.
On Friday, the parliament speaker, Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, also contradicted Mahathir, saying that a special session can only be declared through an official decree by the king.