Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak accepts result of election, says there's no fraud

Najib Razak, Malaysia's prime minister, delivered an address on Thursday after his ruling coalition lost its firm grip on power in an election.

The incumbent leader said he accepted the verdict of the vote, and asserted that there had been no fraud in the election. Najib said no individual party had achieved a simple majority, so it will fall to the country's king to decide who will be appointed the next prime minister. Najib said, however, that there will be change for the country, and he is committed to ensure a resolution."I accept, and my friends also accept, the verdict that has been delivered by the people," he said, according to a translation of the address, noting that his coalition was committed to respecting the principles of democratic parliament.
"And because no party has gotten a simple majority, therefore the king will be making a decision as to who will be the prime minister," he added.

Mahathir Mohamad is expected to replace Najib, and he was set to be sworn in as the world's oldest elected leader after his opposition alliance pulled off a stunning election win, ending six decades of rule by a coalition he had once led.The 92-year-old led an opposition coalition to an unexpected victory over Najib, whose popularity had declined over rising living costs and in the wake of a multi-billion-dollar graft scandal at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Mahathir led the Southeast Asian nation for 22 years and his unexpected return to the prime ministership ends the previously unbroken rule of Barisan Nasional (BN), the coalition that had
governed Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957.

"We are not seeking revenge ... what we want is to restore the rule of law," Mahathir said of Najib's scandal-plagued rule.
Mahathir appeared jubilant and sprightly at a news conference claiming victory overnight, even joking with reporters, ahead of an audience with Malaysia's king on Thursday.The king will sign his letter of appointment as prime minister of Malaysia's constitutional monarchy during a ceremony at the royal palace in the capital, Kuala Lumpur.The stunning election outcome was expected to ruffle financial markets that were expecting a comfortable win for Najib and the BN.

The national stock market will be closed on Thursday and Friday after Mahathir declared a public holiday, but the ringgit currency weakened in offshore trading.

—Reuters contributed to this report.

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