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Scandal-hit Malaysian PM calls elections, expected in May

Scandal-hit Malaysian PM calls elections, expected in May”

The opposition says the election will be unfair. The former prime minister has chose to challenge the decision.

He outlined the seven successes in his special address when announcing the dissolution of the 13th Parliament at Perdana Putra here today.

"If victory is given to BN, we promise to do our best, to carry out a bigger, more inclusive and more comprehensive transformation of the country", Najib said.

The ruling coalition headed by Najib has been in power since independence in 1957 but their support has been dropping in recent years, and a scandal surrounding sovereign wealth fund 1MDB that captured global headlines has added to their problems.

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But his government stoked criticism last week by pushing a controversial redrawing of the electoral map through parliament which critics say will tilt the poll in Najib's favour.

The Prime Minister also advised the heads of all the state governments to seek the consent of the Sultans and Yang Dipertuas Negeri to have their respective state assemblies dissolved so that the elections can be conducted simultaneously, except in the case of Sarawak, which had held the state election on May 7, 2016.

But a weaker result, even if the coalition retains power, could lead to an internal leadership challenge against Mr Najib.

Najib has so far weathered the 1MDB scandal by lurching sharply to the right with a crackdown that has seen numerous critics arrested, and analysts believe he is on course to win a third term.

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The leader and fund deny any wrongdoing.

Mahathir served as prime minister for 22 years before retiring in 2003, but returned to politics after corruption allegations involving Najib surfaced in 2015.

With the common goal of taking down Mr Najib, Mr Mahathir has joined hands with his former deputy and jailed opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, ending a bitter feud that had shaped the country's political narrative over two decades.

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