The election commission showed Mahathir’s four-party Pakatan Harapan coalition leading Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional alliance accumulated nearly half of the seats counted. Unofficial results showed Mahathir’s bloc with a wider lead, Bloomberg reports.
“From our unofficial counting, they are lagging far behind and the likelihood is that they will not be forming the government,” Mahathir told reporters in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday night. “People must know what is their duty and they must do what is right according to the constitution and the laws of this country.”
Mahathir, who previously served as Malaysia’s leader for over two decades, came out of retirement and joined the opposition in a bid to oust Najib, whom faced corruption allegations and rising discontent over a goods-and-services tax.
Many traders previously expected Najib to easily win the elections, but the turn has caused increased political risk to affect the markets. Foreign investors pulled money out of Malaysia ahead of the elections, selling a net 438.4 million ringgit, or $111.1 million, in stocks last week, the second-largest weekly outflow this year. The selloff continued Monday, with investors pulling another 273.6 million ringgit from Malaysian equities.
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