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Amanah vice-president Khalid Samad said the “understanding” was that Dr Mahathir was still within the two-year time frame. - NSTP/AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR

KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s time in office has not reached the three-year mark and as such can continue serving as the prime minister with Pakatan Harapan’s backing.

Amanah vice-president Khalid Samad said the “understanding” was that Dr Mahathir was still within the two-year time frame.

“As long as it has not reached 3 years it can be anytime. It is still Zohor (noon prayer for Muslims), its not yet Asar (afternoon prayer for Muslims).”

Dr Mahathir who became Prime Minister for the second time following Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) stunning victory in the 2018 General Election had initially said that he would lead the nation for two years.

The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman then said and reiterated that he would to hand over the prime minister’s post to Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2020 summit scheduled to be held in November.

However, Khalid who is the Federal Territories Minister said how long Dr Mahathir continues to remain as the chief executive of the nation was the prerogative of the PH presidential council to decide.

“It does not have to be politicised, Just like how the council had placed him as prime minister, it will also determine when the post would be handed over.

“It has been agreed, no one can deny that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is the 8th prime minister, it is only the timing. But it has been understood that it would be within two years.”

Dr Mahathir had denied his involvement in any scheme to extend his tenure as the prime minister to a full term and to derail PH’s agreed upon power transition to Anwar.

Dr Mahathir, who is also the PH chairman, however acknowledged that there were attempts by the opposition and several leaders in the ruling coalition to influence the succession as cited by Anwar in his statement on Thursday.

The PH chairman had also dismissed reports suggesting that a total of 138 MPs had signed statutory declarations (SD) calling for him to serve a full term as the prime minister.

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