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Page last updated at 08:43 GMT, Saturday, 12 April 2008 09:43 UK

Malaysian PM hints at hand-over

Malaysian PM Badawi
Mr Abdullah oversaw the ruling party's worst election results in 50 years

Malaysia's embattled Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has signalled he would support a transition of power to his deputy.

The move comes after the government suffered its worst ever showing in last month's general election.

Since them Mr Abdullah has been under intense pressure from within his own party to step aside.

While his UMNO party won the election, the surge in opposition support left him vulnerable.

He has spent the past few weeks repeatedly resisting calls for his resignation - but did admit that he is partly to blame for the disastrous poll results.

Calm nerves

Now there are strong signs that he does not intend to fight on for much longer, says the BBC's Robin Brant, in Kuala Lumpur.

At a meeting with members of his party on Friday, Mr Abdullah said he would discuss a transition with his deputy Najib Razak.

The deputy prime minister's spokesman told the BBC he could not comment on the timescale, but the focus is on party elections due in December. A handover could come then or at some point in 2009.

Last month's general election saw the opposition win unprecedented levels of support in both parliament and state government.

By agreeing to discuss a transition the prime minister hopes to calm nerves of both investors and politicians.




SEE ALSO
Profile: Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
10 Mar 08 |  Asia-Pacific


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