Mahathir loses seat in Malaysia election, likely ending political career

Malaysia's former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has lost his seat in the general election that was held on Saturday, likely ending his political career.

The 97-year-old Mahathir ran in the race as an opposition party candidate in a constituency with a total of five candidates. But Malaysia's electoral commission said the two-time prime minister failed to secure enough votes, coming in fourth.

This was Mahathir's first defeat in a parliamentary election since 1969. It is believed he will end his political career following the loss. Local media are reporting that it marks the end of an era.

When the election was announced earlier this month, Mahathir said it would be his last election.

Mahathir first served as prime minister for 22 years from 1981 to 2003. After retiring from politics, he was voted in again as prime minister in 2018. After stepping down in 2020, he formed a new coalition and ran in the latest election.

Vote counting is still underway. The ruling bloc and the opposition wing are in a close contest. As no single party might be able to secure a majority, attention is now focused on how parties would form a post-election alliance to come to power.