Ex-judge: King has no choice, must appoint Mahathir as PM

Retired Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram says Dr Mahathir Mohamad commands the support of the majority of MPs. (Youtube screengrab)

PETALING JAYA: A retired Federal Court judge says the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong has no choice but to appoint Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister as the constitution does not recognise political parties, only members of the Dewan Rakyat.

Gopal Sri Ram said in the present scenario, the majority of MPs supported Mahathir as prime minister.

He said Article 43 (2) of the constitution stated that the king had to appoint a prime minister who, in his judgment, commanded the majority of the members of the House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat).

“So the king has no choice but to call upon Mahathir to be sworn in as prime minister,” he said.

A leader from a party or coalition of parties that has won the simple majority of 112 seats can form the federal government.

Sri Ram said it was therefore incorrect for former prime minister Najib Razak to state that there was a hung Parliament.

He also advised Najib to give up power as PH had won the right to offer its candidate to be appointed prime minister.

“I would strongly advise the outgoing prime minister to adhere to the provision of the Federal Constitution to give up power gracefully.”

Sri Ram was responding to Najib, who had said there was a hung Parliament following the outcome of the general election yesterday.

“Najib is not correct. He has failed to take into account the seats which were won by Warisan in Sabah,” he said.

He said Warisan had made a pact with PH, therefore those seats had to be taken into account.

PH won 113 seats while the Najib-led Barisan Nasional won 79, PAS 18, Warisan eight, Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) one and independents three.