Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at a press conference in Putrajaya, near Kuala Lumpur, on April 15, 2019.
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Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has submitted his resignation to the king, according to the prime minister’s office.
The resignation was submitted to the king at 1 p.m. local time on Monday, the statement by the prime minister’s office said. It’s unclear whether the Malaysian king will accept Mahathir’s resignation.
The political party that Mahathir belongs to, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, also announced that it will withdraw from the Pakatan Harapan coalition that formed the ruling government, according to a statement by the party’s President Muhyiddin Yassin.
Following the news, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index extended its losses to nearly 3% in afternoon trade, while the U.S. dollar strengthened close to 0.8% against the Malaysian ringgit.
The 94-year-old leader’s decision to resign followed a weekend filled with speculation that the ruling coalition which he was leading, Pakatan Harapan, could lose power. Multiple local media, mostly citing unnamed sources, reported that Mahathir would shift allegiance by tying up with the opposition parties to form a new government.
Mahathir was Malaysia’s prime minister from 1981 to 2003. He became prime minister again after winning the 2018 general elections against the coalition he once led, Barisan Nasional.
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