Mahathir Mohamad is on course to become the world’s oldest elected leader at 92, after a shock victory in Malaysia’s bitterly fought election.
The former PM came out of retirement and defected to the opposition to take on his one-time protégé Najib Razak, beset by corruption allegations.
His historic win has ousted the Barisan Nasional (BN) Coalition, which has been in power since independence in 1957.
Jubilant Mahathir supporters filled the streets as the victory became clear.
Mr Najib has said he will “accept the verdict of the people”, but correspondents say a smooth transition to power is not a given after such a major political upheaval.
No single party within the coalition won a majority, so technically it now rests with Malaysia’s king to decide who forms a government.
Mr Mahathir told a news conference in the early hours of Thursday that his coalition would not seek revenge but would “restore the rule of law”.
He also announced – to cheers among his supporters – that there would be a two-day public holiday, adding: “But there will be no holidays for the winners.”
The official results showed the opposition Pakatan Harapan – the Alliance of Hope – secured 113 of the 222 seats being contested, including some which have only ever been held by the government. BN took 79 seats.
more recommended stories
UN Secretary-General urges Eswatini to respect children’s rights
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called.
South Africa rejects door on Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine – which Zimbabwe approved
South Africa’s drugs regulator said on.
Husband in court over killing of Kenyan athlete Agnes Tirop
The husband of the Kenyan athlete,.
Africa’s Covid cases surpass 8.42 million mark
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases.
Ivory Coast’s ex-president Gbagbo vows return to political life
Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo says.
Kissing Matt Hancock’s United Nation Africa job offer withdrawn
Former British health secretary Matt Hancock.
Rwandan president pardons former Prime Minister jailed for issuing fake cheques
President Paul Kagame has granted pardon.
Nigeria to bar unvaccinated government workers from offices
Nigerian government has announced that government.