The election of Mahathir Mohamad – who is set to become world’s oldest prime minister at 92 – as Malaysia’s new leader has been thrown into doubt after his rival Najib Razak refused to concede defeat and was allegedly offering opposition candidates $6m to switch sides, reports said.
It was presumed that the election results, which saw a historic win for the opposition for the first time in 60 years, would make way for Mahathir, who this year switched to the opposition party, to return to power.
However, Mahathir’s confirmation faced setbacks on Thursday morning, with reports that the king was refusing to swear him in and that Najib was attempting to swing the election his way by buying up candidates in the state of Sabah.
There was also a suggestion that, according to the constitution, Mahathir was not even eligible to be prime minister because the opposition coalition is not technically one party.
The party that got the most seats was PKR, which is led by the wife of former prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, and there were reports she would be named prime minister instead.
However, speaking on Thursday morning Mahathir attempted to put all doubts to rest about whether he would be prime minister and said he would be forming a government by the evening.