KUALA LUMPUR: The Pakatan Harapan government automatically dissolved the moment Tun Dr Mahathir resigned as prime minister, political analysts said.
Prof Dr Ahmad Atory Hussain said the common practice under a democratic system when a prime minister relinquishes his post is that the Cabinet also dissolves, leaving a vacuum.
Asked on what could happen next, Ahmad Atory said that would depend on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to appoint the next prime minister.
“There should not be a vacuum (in the government) for too long. The King will appoint a member of parliament whom His Majesty believes has the support of the majority. A simple majority of 112 seats in Parliament is sufficient for that choice of candidate to be sworn in as the new prime minister.
“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong will call in all party leaders to assess who commands the majority support, and in the current scenario, there is one group that supports Dr Mahathir and another that is behind Anwar (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim),” he said when contacted by Bernama today.
Ahmad Atory said looking at the ongoing political uncertainty, he believes there is no need as yet for a general election to be held.
“A general election could only happen when there is no suitable individual to be appointed as prime minister. For instance, if parties in conflict do not want to compromise (in their choice for prime minister), only then His Majesty will declare Parliament as dissolved to pave the way for a general election to be held,” he said.
He said what was happening politically currently was a first in the country, and therefore it is now a situation of wait and see on what could unfold next.
Echoing the same views was Dr Noor Nirwandy Mat Noordin, senior lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Mara’s (UiTM) Centre for Media and Information Warfare Studies, the country’s administration now depends on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s wisdom.
“His Majesty will have to advise what is best that can be done for the country, and if a new coalition is formed then it should have a mandate that commands a majority support in parliament.
“… and if it remains with the old coalition, then it must be seen that they have the consensus and not merely an assurance of strength to form the new government,” he said.
Noor Nirwandy said if there was no smooth solution in sight for the ongoing situation, there will then be no option but to hold a general election.
“This is to ensure the country’s democratic system continues to be safeguarded and the power transition is carried out in a systematic and flawless manner in accordance to the Federal Constitution,” he said, while hoping at the same time the political uncertainty will end soon enough as such a situation can hurt the nation’s image and stability.
Earlier, the Prime Minister’s office, in a statement, confirmed that Dr Mahathir had resigned as Prime Minister today.
“The letter was submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at 1 pm today,” said the statement.
Meanwhile, according to the provisions of the Federal Constitution, if there is a need to hold another general election, the King will have to appoint an interim cabinet.
He may do so by either giving his consent to the previous Cabinet members or form a new Cabinet comprising new Dewan Rakyat members as provided for under Article 40(1) of the Federal Constitution.
The powers of this Cabinet line up is only limited to giving advice on important matters until a new government is formed.
After Parliament is dissolved, and before the formation of the new government, the federal administrative machinery will still function under a caretaker government.