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Barisan Nasional Sweeps Back To Power In Melaka


Malaysia's largest and ruling party United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) led the Barisan Nasional alliance to a decisive victory in Melaka state election, watched as a bellwether ahead of a general election due in 2023. Barisan Nasional won 21 out of 28 seats in the state legislature and a two-thirds supermajority.

  • The snap election was called after the state administration collapsed as four defector UMNO lawmakers withdrew support for Chief Minister Sulaiman of UMNO.
  • The election drew extensive attention as federal coalition partners Barisan Nasional (led by UMNO) and Perikatan Nasional (led by Bersatu) competed against one another as well as against the opposition Pakatan Harapan.
  • Owing to the first-past-the-post system used to elect members of the state assembly, Barisan Nasional was able to win by far the most seats despite being backed by just 38% of voters. Pakatan Harapan came second with 36% of votes and 5 seats, while Perikatan Nasional ranked third with 24% of votes and 2 seats.
  • Just hours after the results were declared, UMNO pressed ahead with the swearing in of Sulaiman Md Ali as Melaka Chief Minister. The Straits Times reported that the swearing-in was rushed amid an insider challenge to Sulaiman's bid for the top position mounted by a fellow UMNO lawmaker.
  • Analysts see the poll as an opportunity for disgraced former Premier Naijb Razak to rehabilitate his image. With UMNO President Zahid on a sick leave and Prime Minister Ismail Sabri focused on federal politics, Najib emerged as a leading figure in UMNO's campaign.

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