Malaysian party may fail in no-confidence vote bid

PM Abdullah has been under pressure to hand over to his deputy Najib Razak after Barisan suffered its worst electoral setback in 50 years during the March poll, losing its two-thirds parliamentary majority and ceding five states to the opposition.

Malaysian party may fail in no-confidence vote bid
A planned no-confidence vote against Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi could fizzle out on Monday, helping the premier fend off for now a growing challenge to his leadership.

In an unprecedented move, a small party in Abdullah's ruling coalition had called for the motion amid a rift that threatens to split the coalition. However, it did not give enough notice in parliament.

The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), the east Malaysian party calling for the vote, has only two members of parliament but there are worries its move could trigger more dissent within the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

However, SAPP did not submit the motion to the speaker of parliament 14 days before introducing it, as required by parliamentary rules.

"At this point it doesn't look likely," said Tricia Yeoh, director of the Center for Public Policy Studies, on the prospect of the no-confidence vote seeing the light of day.

Under Malaysian parliamentary rules, a motion not submitted within that time can still be brought up if the speaker deems it to be a specific and urgent matter.

With the speaker a Barisan Nasional stalwart, there is little chance of that happening.

The other option is for the opposition to turn a motion on price rises planned by the government into a no-confidence vote. But it needs 112 votes to do so, and it only has 82 seats in the 222-seat lower house of parliament.

Abdullah has been under pressure to hand over to his deputy Najib Razak after Barisan suffered its worst electoral setback in 50 years during the March poll, losing its two-thirds parliamentary majority and ceding five states to the opposition.

Public anger against rising prices and a resurgent opposition could compound the pressure for Abdullah to quit.

Reuters
Last Mod: 23 Haziran 2008, 13:02
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