Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera 26 Mar 2020

Netanyahu ally resigns, deepening Israeli political turmoil


There has been a twist in Israel's continuing political crisis.
A right-wing ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suddenly resigned as speaker of Parliament, paving the way for Netanyahu's rival Benny Gantz to put one of his allies in the position, as he tries to form a government. But a delay in choosing a successor is already presenting obstacles to the opposition's plans.

Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett reports from West Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed has long been seen as a master of Malaysian politics.
His shock resignation on Monday has triggered speculation over what he may be planning.
He's been resisting pressure to set a deadline to hand over power to his named successor, Anwar Ibrahim.
They put aside their decades-long rivalry in 2018, and that partnership brought Mahathir back into power.
Under the deal, Mahathir promised to hand over the top job to Ibrahim.
Now the ruling government has collapsed and political parties are rushing to forge alliances to form a new one.
So, will Mahathir come back to power through a different political partnership?
And what's motivated this, just two years after a surprise comeback?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan

Bridget Welsh, Political Analyst and Senior Research Associate of the Center for East Asia Democratic Studies at National Taiwan University.
Anto Mohsin, Assistant Professor at Northwestern University, focusing on South East Asia.
Ibrahim Suffian, Pollster and Executive Director of the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research.
Israel's political turmoil continues as results start pouring in from the country's third recent election. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a significant lead over rival Benny Gantz. CBS News foreign correspondent Seth Doane joins CBSN from Tel Aviv for a closer look at the latest developments.
There is political turmoil in Malaysia after the king accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Mahathir's party has quit the coalition government.
It follows talks by some members of the ruling coalition to exclude the prime minister's chosen successor and rival, Anwar Ibrahim, from a new administration.
Al Jazeera's Florence Looi has more from Kuala Lumpur.
It has been described as Malaysia's political Game of Thrones: a fortnight of mind-bending political turmoil, triggered by the resignation last week of 94-year-old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad after his coalition collapsed.

After being reinstated as interim prime minister by the king, Mahathir seemed poised to form a new government that may have sidelined his designated successor Anwar Ibrahim. But before long, Mahathir and Anwar were once again united in an attempt to form a new government, only to find themselves both on the outside looking in as someone else - Muhyiddin Yassin - was sworn in as Malaysia's eighth prime minister.

Muhyiddin is backed by the scandal-ridden United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) - the very party Mahathir ousted in the 2018 election amid anger over what is known as the 1MDB scandal.

Syed Saddiq, who was a cabinet minister in Mahathir's government, said what we are seeing in Malaysia is the formation of an "illegitimate back-door government".

"The fact that without Dr Mahathir's knowledge that his own colleagues decided to work together with the well-known global kleptocrats to form a back-door government and to take down the democratically elected Pakatan Harapan government, I think it's a truly sad day for Malaysian democracy," Saddiq said.

Mahathir has been accused by some of creating the political turmoil in Malaysia himself, by failing to keep his pledge to hand over power to Anwar. With no clear timeline ever set for the succession, many believed Mahathir would not fulfil his promise.

But Saddiq said there was an agreement to hand over power to him.

"There was an agreement to give room for Dr Mahathir to govern and then when the right time comes, to hand over power to Anwar, and the agreement was after APEC," Saddiq said.

"If Mahathir really was power-crazy he could have simply just remained as the prime minister ... Instead he stepped down, his moral conscience is clean, and he still fought to ensure that the democratically elected government will stay in power because of the people," he added.

In this week's Special Interview, MP Syed Saddiq defends Malaysia's political colossus Mahathir Mohamad.

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