Malaysia goes to the polls to elect a new Parliament
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The parliamentary elections in Malaysia registered an unprecedented turnout this Saturday, as local authorities confirmed the gradual closure of polling stations as the closing of the polls approaches.

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Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said they were optimistic their respective coalitions would win enough seats for a parliamentary majority.

Ismail said his coalition could form a government tonight and, if necessary, an alliance would be forged with regional parties in Borneo.



His coalition, Barisan Nasional, whose linchpin the United Malays National Organization triggered the snap election, is seeking to capitalize on its slim majority after a series of victories in local polls.

At least 70 percent of the 21 million voters (from a country of more than 32 million people) had voted by 4:00 p.m. local time, two hours before the polls closed, which opened at 8 a.m.,

The electorate has expanded from around 15 million voters four years ago, thanks to an influx of young first-time voters after the minimum voting age was lowered to 18.

The three main coalitions are meeting at command centers in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya to monitor the election results.

Polls show growing support for former deputy prime minister and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition. Overall, almost 1,000 candidates will compete for 222 seats in Parliament.

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