Malaysia to hold closely contested polls on May 5

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 09, 2013 11:48 PM
Malaysia to hold closely contested polls on May 5

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (Reuters) - Malaysia will hold general elections on May 5, the Election Commission said on Wednesday, in what could be the toughest test of the ruling coalition's 56-year grip on power in Southeast Asia's third-largest economy.

Election Commission Chairman Abdul Aziz Yusof said candidates will be nominated on April 20, meaning a two-week campaigning period. He was speaking to reporters at the country's administrative capital of Putrajaya.

Opinion polls suggest a narrow victory for the National Front led by Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is under pressure to restore the two-thirds majority the coalition lost for the first time in 2008. He faces a confident opposition led by former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

(Reporting By Siva Sithraputhran; Editing by Niluksi Koswanage and Paul Tait)