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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Parliament sitting on March 9 is the next battleground



Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin will be prime minister tomorrow, and this looks to be a done deal unless the King changes his mind.
Despite this, Muhyiddin's command of a majority in the Dewan Rakyat is still in question and can be challenged by lawmakers in the House.
The next Parliament session has been fixed for March 9, over a week from now.
Former Parliament speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia had pointed out that the Standing Orders do not outline how a motion of no confidence can be done and carried out.

However, confidence in a prime minister can be tested by passing a motion or bill.
As a new coalition, the first logical step once Parliament convenes is to table a motion to replace the Pakatan Harapan appointed speaker Mohd Ariff Yusof.
This will likely be tabled after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong addresses Parliament on March 9 or the day after.
If the motion is defeated, it means that Muhyiddin no longer commands majority support.
Article 43(4) of the Federal Constitution then states that when a prime minister loses majority support in the Dewan Rakyat, he must tender his resignation unless the Agong decides to dissolve Parliament.
However, Muhyiddin can postpone this inevitable challenge to his premiership.
Article 55(2) of the Federal Constitution states the Agong may prorogue (postpone) Parliament. As prime minister, Muhyiddin can advise the King to do so.
Article 55(1) states the Dewan Rakyat sittings must be held within six months of the last sitting - in this case, Dec 5, 2019, meaning that the next session must be called by the first week of June.
Both Muhyididn and Harapan claim to have majority support.
However, the Federal Constitution provides that the Agong can appoint whomever he believes to command majority confidence as prime minister.
Muhyiddin's ascension comes a week after he and Azmin Ali tried to stage a coup to form a government with Umno, PAS, GPS and Warisan without PKR, DAP and Amanah.
This prompted Dr Mahathir Mohamad to resign as prime minister as he refused to work with Umno en-bloc. - Mkini

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