Campaigning kicks off for Malaysia’s general elections
This Saturday will mark a historic day when Malaysia’s nation will begin to choose its next president, prime minister and other key leaders. However, unlike other nations in the world who have regular state-wide general elections, the country has chosen to hold this election on a federal level.
The reason? Because Malaysia has many similarities with the U.S., which had presidential elections last year. That’s because the country is a federal republic with a parliamentary democracy. In fact, elections held in a federalist country like Malaysia have become more democratic after their independence.
In Malaysia’s case, the Election Commission (EC) has set four dates for the election that runs from May 9 to 13, 2016.
The first round of voting will lead to a two-way race with six candidates vying for the top spot, five of them from the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and one from the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
The six BN candidates are Datuk Seri Najib Razak of the Barisan Nasional, Prime Minister Najib Razak of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), D.R.R.AHAH of the Umno, Anwar Ibrahim of the PKR, Lim Guan Eng of the DAP and Mohd Azmin Ali of the Malaysian Chinese Association.
The five PH candidates are Mahathir Mohamad from the PH, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdullah from the Umno, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Sambanthan from the PAS, DAP chairperson N. Nazri Aziz from the Barisan Nasional and DAP secretary-general Lim Kit Siang from the PKR.
The DAP is hoping to win the election to become the first opposition party to form the next government since the country’s founding as a federation.
To win, DAP needs to win at least 46 out of 54 seats in parliament in the first round of voting. If the party wins more than