[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
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.