UMNO To Support A Unity Govt As Long As It's Not Led By Perikatan Nasional

However, the wording of UMNO's announcement, which came past midnight, on 24 November, is ambiguous.

Cover image via Hazreen Mohamad/New Straits Times

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It appears the political impasse that has lasted for over four days after the 15th General Election (GE15) could be over, or could very well drag on, according to an ambiguously worded announcement by UMNO

Taking to Twitter at 1.18am tonight, 24 November, UMNO secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan shared that the party's supreme council has come to a unanimous consensus to uphold the decree by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for Barisan Nasional (BN) to support and be part of a unity government.

According to the announcement shared by the Pontian member of parliament (MP), the UMNO supreme council has also agreed that all 26 UMNO MPs, who won their seats in GE15, must obey and accept any form of a unity government or other forms of government that will be consented to by the Agong.

However, the announcement, which came after a five-hour-long meeting of the UMNO supreme council, added a condition, saying that BN will only back a unity government that is not led by Perikatan Nasional.

The justification for the condition to not support a PN-led unity government, according to the contents of the announcement, is to ensure "the establishment of a stable and prosperous government".

Additionally, the supreme council supports Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who was facing opposition from some BN members, to continue leading BN as the coalition chairperson and as the UMNO president.

Prior to this, MCA secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon asked Zahid to be replaced by UMNO deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, also known as Tok Mat, as chairman to lead BN.

This could possibly mean that UMNO may form a unity government with Pakatan Harapan (PH), the coalition with the most seats

However, the wording of the announcement letter is ambiguous.

Because UMNO did not explicitly name PH, which has 82 seats, and only mentioned that the party will not support a PN-led unity government, this could also mean — quite possibly — that BN with its 30 seats would want to lead the unity government with PN, which has 73 seats, playing the second fiddle.

It could also mean that BN may back PH only if the latter agrees to let BN take the lead.

After PH, PN, and BN, the next largest coalitions are Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) with 23 seats and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) with six seats, with the latter two supporting PN.

Regardless, one thing is clear, no unity government can be formed without BN support. Both PH and PN will need the 30 seats held by BN to reach a simple majority in parliament to form a government.

The BN supreme council is scheduled to meet this morning to weigh its options.

You can read the announcement in full here:

Meanwhile, the Agong will meet his fellow Malay Rulers today for a special meeting at the Istana Negara for further discussions:

Earlier, PH proposed a 10-point agreement to BN:

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