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Close Elections in Malaysia

Voters in Malaysia went to the polls on Monday in a bitter race, effectively a referendum on the eighteen-year rule of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Asia's longest-serving elected leader. While Mahathir is expected to win an unprecedented fifth five-year term, he is also facing a stronger and more vocal opposition. This opposition has formed a four-party Barisan Alternatif (Alternative Front) coalition, which includes the Islamic fundamentalist Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS). Galvanized by the Prime Minister's jailing of his former deputy Anwar Ibrahim, the "reformasi" movement presents the greatest challenge yet to Mahathir's sometimes heavy-handed rule. The voters will select representatives to both the federal parliament that chooses the prime minister and the legislative assemblies in eleven of thirteen states. Final results are expected early on Tuesday. The sites listed provide information about the election.
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Date of Scout Publication 1999-11-29
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