[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Mahathir quits Malaysia party
Former PM says departure from ruling party is sign of no confidence in successor.
Last Modified: 19 May 2008 09:54 GMT
Mahathir's decision may further weaken the ruling party hit by recent electoral setbacks [Reuters]

Mahathir Mohamad, the former Malaysian prime minister, has quit the country's ruling party.

 

The influential former leader's resignation from the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) follows a long feud with his successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the current prime minister.

The move could also deepen cracks that appeared in Umno ranks after the party suffered massive losses in the March general election.

 

Speaking on Monday, Mahathir said his decision was prompted by a lack of confidence in Abdullah's leadership.

In a speech to some 1,000 people in his home state of Kedah he also urged other Umno members and cabinet members to follow him.

 

Mahathir appointed Abdullah to succeed him in 2003 after serving as prime minister for 22 years.

 

But he remained active in politics, wielding significant influence among the party's grass-roots workers.

 

By late 2004 Mahathir began accusing Abdullah of nepotism, corruption and inefficiency.

 

Party insiders say Mahathir was angry because many big infrastructure projects he had initiated were cancelled by Abdullah.

 

Mahathir's decision raises the possibility of large-scale desertions by loyalists, which could split the party and bring down the government.

 

Umno is the dominant party in the coalition Barisan Nasional administration that has governed Malaysia since independence in 1957.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Rights groups say the US prosecution of terrorism cases targets Muslims and are fraught with abuses.
Local painters forgo experimentation to cater to growing number of foreign buyers.
Cyprus is a tax haven and has long attracted wealthy Russians, but it could become a European energy hub.
Palestinians in Gaza have been shocked by the scale of Israeli destruction, as long-term truce efforts continue.
The Positive Action Foundation Philippines, manned by HIV-positive staff, provides care to those who have no one else.
join our mailing list