INTERNATIONAL

Malaysian PM calls snap polls

SINGAPORE: The Malaysian Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (in the picture) on Wednesday announced the dissolution of Parliament and a snap general election. The country's tenth Parliament is being dissolved with effect from Thursday. No date was immediately set for the 11th general election. Mr. Abdullah's latest move sets the stage for him to seek a prime ministerial mandate on his own political strength. It was only a few months ago that he succeeded the long-reigning Mahathir Mohamad as Prime Minister. Announcing the decision through a statement issued in Kuala Lumpur, Mr. Abdullah said the Election Commission would fix the dates for polling and the filing of nominations. He said the constitutional monarch had signed the relevant dissolution order on Wedneday. The 10th Parliament has been disbanded about eight months before it could run its full term. A total of 219 parliamentary seats will be at stake, an increase of 26 as a result of the recent delimitation of constituencies by the poll panel. Putrajaya, the seat of Government, has been carved out as a separate parliamentary constituency as part of this exercise.