Malaysia will hold its general elections on May 9, the country’s Election Commission said on Tuesday, days after Prime Minister Najib Razak dissolved the Parliament.
The elections are expected to test the Barisan Nasional coalition’s 61-year grip on power, Reuters reported.
The prime minister not only faces allegations in a multi-billion dollar corruption scandal, but will also have to win over his citizens who are unhappy with rising costs. In 2015, Razak resisted demands to step down.
The coalition will face off with the Opposition bloc led by the 92-year-old former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. A group of Opposition parties had chosen Mohamad as their leader in January. If elected, Mahathir would become the world’s oldest prime minister.
The Opposition claimed that holding elections on May 9, a weekday, was an “attempt by the ruling coalition to steal the election”, The Straits Times reported. The government and the election commission rejected the accusation.