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Bersih moots power-sharing instead of unity government

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Bersih proposed that either Pakatan Harapan or Perikatan Nasional – the two coalitions that secured the most number of votes – should lead the government, with the other leading a shadow Cabinet.

PETALING JAYA: Bersih has proposed power-sharing instead of a unity government to resolve the current impasse over the formation of a new government.

The electoral reform group said while a unity government, or a grand coalition government, was more inclusive as it included all the main parties, it had three inherent flaws.

Firstly, the administration will be bloated and secondly, there may be little check and balance in Parliament when almost everyone may be a government backbencher and no one or very few MPs are in the opposition, it said.

Finally, given the deep cleavage, the grand coalition may not have the coherence to pursue clear goals.

“Instead of working together, it risks having government parties and ministers contradicting or criticising each other, as what we have seen in the 32 months post-Sheraton Move,” Bersih said in a statement, referring to the defections that led to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government in 2020.

It went on to propose that either Pakatan Harapan or Perikatan Nasional – the two coalitions that secured the most number of votes – should lead the government, with the other leading a shadow Cabinet.

The smaller blocs and parties, meanwhile, would have three options – they can be a junior partner in a coalition government; become an opposition that backs the government based on a confidence and supply agreement (CSA); or be a full opposition.

“Regardless whether it is a majority coalition government or a minority government backed by a CSA, such a government fulfils the need of Article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution,” it said, referring to the stipulation that the prime minister commanded the confidence of the majority.

The current deadlock is due to the inability of the three major coalitions to secure enough seats for a simple majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

Pakatan Harapan won 82 seats, Perikatan Nasional 73, BN 30, GPS 23, GRS 6 and Warisan 3 seats. Two independents were also elected.

The chairmen of PH and PN have both claimed they had enough support for a majority, while PN chairman Muhyiddin Yassin had previously ruled out any alliance with PH.

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