Malaysia PM Mahathir Mohamad suddenly resignsChristian Fernsby ▼ | February 24, 2020
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned today.
Politics in Asia Mahathir Mohamad
Topics: Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad
That coalition would reportedly have excluded Anwar, Mahathir's presumptive successor and a former opposition icon who was jailed for years on questionable sodomy charges, blocking his ascent to the premiership.
Mahathir, who previously served as premier from 1981 to 2003, had made a pre election pledge to hand power to Anwar but has repeatedly refused to fix a date.
The weekend push to form a new government appeared to have fizzled out by early Monday, but then Mahathir's office made the surprise announcement that he had "sent a resignation letter as prime minister of Malaysia" to the king at 1:00 pm (0500 GMT).
Shortly before, Mahathir's Bersatu party announced it was leaving the ruling coalition and 11 lawmakers resigned from Anwar's party, leaving the Pact of Hope in tatters and fuelling speculation efforts could be under way to form a new alliance. ■