New twist to power vacuum saga as Dr M set to return as PM with PH support

Pakatan Harapan leaders with Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in this picture posted by DAP’s Liew Chin Tong on his Facebook. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he is prepared to lead a Pakatan Harapan coalition government again, following a meeting with its top leaders this morning.

“I am now confident that I have the numbers needed to garner majority support in the Dewan Rakyat.

“I am therefore prepared to stand as prospective candidate for prime minister. This decision will be conveyed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” he said in a statement.

This comes just as PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin looked set to become the next prime minister after support poured in for him yesterday.

Pakatan Harapan also confirmed this in a brief statement, saying it condemns efforts to form a “backdoor government” involving “traitors and kleptocrats”.

“As such, for the sake of defending the struggle, Pakatan Harapan expresses its full support for Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister,” it said.

A source told FMT that ex-PKR leaders who quit the party together with Mohamed Azmin Ali earlier this week are not part of this revived bloc.

Earlier, PPBM Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said he was not among the party’s MPs who backed its president Muhyiddin Yassin as the prime ministerial candidate.

“I never signed,” he said in a brief reply this morning, when asked if he was revoking a statutory declaration to nominate Muhyiddin.

There has been intense speculation since late last night that PH leaders had met with Mahathir in a last-ditch effort to convince him not to support a new government with Barisan Nasional parties.

Yesterday, BN leaders declared their support for Muhyiddin, in a sign that the political impasse caused by the collapse of the PH coalition government would end.

Umno and PAS confirmed their support for Muhyiddin, while Sarawak’s ruling coalition GPS and Sabah’s Warisan are widely expected to name him for the post of prime minister.