6 May 2013

Malaysia governing coalition wins election

11:50 am on 6 May 2013

Malaysia's governing coalition has maintained its 56-year rule in a hard-fought general election.

The Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition had passed the threshold of 112 seats in the 222-seat parliament, with two thirds of seats confirmed.

Voters had been faced with returning the ruling party, or choosing opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's untested three-party alliance, Pakatan Rakyat.

Mr Anwar refused to concede defeat, accusing the authorities of widespread abuses which he said had distorted the result of the election.

Prime Minister Najib Razak urged all Malaysians to accept his coalition's victory. "We have to show to the world that we are a mature democracy," he said in a televised broadcast.

Barisan Nasional, while credited with bringing economic development and political stability, has also been tainted by allegations of corruption, the BBC reports.

In what was considered a tight race, it had campaigned hard to shore up its base among poorer ethnic Malay neighbourhoods and in rural areas.

Election officials said some 80% of registered voters cast ballots.