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Interim Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad arriving at Perdana Putra this morning. - NSTP/Ahmad Irham Mohd Noor.
Interim Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad arriving at Perdana Putra this morning. - NSTP/Ahmad Irham Mohd Noor.

Just about everyone wants Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister, but a bigger test may yet come.

Of course, we will have to wait until the Yang di-Pertuan Agong speaks to every single member of parliament.

His Majesty must be convinced that enough lawmakers support an individual for the premiership.

Assuming Dr Mahathir is that person, he will next have to form a cabinet.

Everyone supports him, but who is he going to appoint as ministers?

If he changes his mind and stays on as Bersatu chairman, would most of the positions go to the party, Umno, Pas and their new allies, including Datuk Seri Azmin Ali? How would that sit with PKR and DAP?

If he also puts PKR and DAP in the cabinet, how would their foes react?

Maybe it will all boil down to the numbers. As long as the parties (from one side) with ministers have enough votes to keep the government in power, it matters not what the other side says. The latter may still support Dr Mahathir, but there's little else it can do.

Or maybe the overarching theme will be a unity government of friend and foe. That could keep everyone happy and annoyed in equal measure. A delicate balancing act.

But if the balance is lost, what next?

The chances of a snap election may wax and wane in the coming weeks. It's not out of the picture altogether.

But if the election is held, will everyone still clamour for Dr Mahathir to stay after that?

The writer is NST production editor


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

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