KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – The Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday (April 10th) announced it will hold general elections May 5th. Analysts say it will be the closest vote in decades, AFP reported.
A week after Prime Minister Najib Razak dissolved parliament, EC chairman Aziz Yusof specified that the official two-week campaign period would kick off April 20th.
Poll watchers say the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which has ruled through coalition governments since Malaysia achieved independence in 1957, potentially faces its most difficult opposition, led by Anwar Ibrahim's three-party Pakatan Rakyat (People's Pact), which is vowing to end corruption and cronyism.
Political analyst Wan Saiful Wan Jan, of the think tank Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, said, "It is really 50-50. If any party is complacent, they will lose out."