A bid by Mahathir’s supporters to form a new government without Anwar Ibrahim failed [File: Lim Huey Teng/Reuters]

Malaysia’s interim leader Mahathir Mohamad has said parliament will pick a new prime minister next week following the collapse of the ruling alliance and snap elections will be called if the vote ends in an impasse.

Mahathir, who met the king earlier on Thursday, said the monarch could not find a candidate with a clear majority to lead the nation after consulting all 222 legislators over the last two days.

As such, he said, the king decided to have the lower house of parliament vote on a new leader on March 2.

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“If the lower house fails to find a person with the majority,

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