Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said he will dissolve parliament once he’s confident of his party’s victory in the next general election.
The premier said he will discuss the matter with the top leaders of the United Malays National Organization.
“If we are confident about winning, we won’t wait even for a second to dissolve parliament to hold the 15th general election,” Ismail said in a speech to UMNO’s cadre during its annual general assembly on Saturday.
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Ismail is under pressure from his party to bring forward the general election that’s due July next year, following a string of landslide wins in state polls. He rose to power in August with the support of 114 lawmakers in the 220-member parliament, and UMNO is seeking to increase its majority through a nationwide vote.
Ismail had earlier Thursday cautioned against undermining the king on the matter of elections. According to the Malaysian constitution, the king has the power to dissolve parliament on the advice of the prime minister, and an election must be held within 60 days.
UMNO’s annual general assembly, which began Wednesday night and ran through Saturday, was dominated by debates on the general election.
“God willing, this may be UMNO’s final general assembly before the national election,” party President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said in his speech capping the assembly on Saturday.
Ismail and opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan last year signed a memorandum of understanding on political stability, following a series of short-lived coalitions that brought the country three prime ministers since 2018. The agreement stipulates that parliament cannot be dissolved before July 31, 2022. –BLOOMBERG