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Ruling party fends off challenge in Malaysia

Record-breaking numbers voted yesterday in Malaysia's most fiercely contested general election in history as the government, which has been in power since 1957, fended off an opposition campaign demanding change.

Officials said that around 80pc of the country's 13.3 million registered voters turned out. Late last night, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) had won the 112 seats needed for a majority.

Tension was palpable in Kuala Lumpur as the final results contradicted a claim from Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) party, that his challenge overturned one of Asia's most entrenched parties of power.

Monitoring groups, including Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, said there was an "improvement in the conduct of the election" despite a number of "major issues". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent