Alwaght- An opposition alliance in Malaysia led by former premier Mahathir Muhammad has won a majority in parliament in a shock victory.
The opposition won 113 seats - one more than required for simple majority - and the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) party has 79 in the 222-member parliament, according to official results announced on Thursday.
The election race was one of the most closely contested in Malaysia's history, with 92-year-old Mahathir coming out of retirement to take on his former protégé, Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has been embroiled in a massive corruption scandal.
Mahathir called for the prime minister to be appointed immediately, stressing that Najib's role as an interim government in "now over".
"There has been some delays over the lack of understanding of the constitution, but we'd like to make it clear that there is an urgency here," he said at a press conference on Thursday.
"We need to form a government now, today," the 92-year-old added.
As the Pakatan Harapan or Alliance of Hope's win became clear, supporters took to social media and the streets of Malaysia's biggest city, Kuala Lumpur, waving flags of the opposition.
Acknowledging the electoral upset that saw his ruling BN coalition lose over 50 seats, Najib said that he accepts the "will of the people," but also trumpeted the achievements of his government.
Despite the thrashing at the polls, Najib's speech appeared to tease the possibility that the identity of the country's next leader was not a foregone conclusion.
In his first press conference since his stunning win over Barisan Nasional, Mahathir said that he would move quickly to end an unpopular sales tax, and said that among his first acts would be to arrange for a pardon for his political ally -- and one-time political nemesis -- Anwar Ibrahim, to allow him to re-enter politics.