Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Wednesday announced to dissolve the parliament to pave the way for general elections.
Speaking at a news conference in Putrajaya, the administrative center of Malaysia, Badawi said the dissolution had received consent from the King and the Election Commission would decide on the poll date in coming days.
The prime minister said in a brief statement that Malaysia's Supreme Head has signed a royal decree to dissolve the country's 11th parliament according to the constitution.
All the country's state governments, except eastern Sarawak state, had been informed to dissolve their parliaments accordingly, he said.
The dissolution came 15 months before the expiry of the parliament's five-year term on May 16, 2009. The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition swept to a landslide victory in the last general election in 2004.
"I am confident of winning, and I hope that we will retain our two-thirds majority," Badawi said.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Abdul Razak, who was present when the announcement was made, said he hoped the general election would run smoothly, adding that the BN machinery was ready for the elections.
"The list of candidates has been fixed," he said, adding that the BN would field new faces as well as the old guard and would announce the names in a day or two.
The Election Commission said it would announce polling and nomination day on Thursday at its office in Putrajaya.
The Election Commission held several meetings Wednesday in preparation for the prime minister's announcement on the dissolution of Parliament.
"We have got the declaration on the dissolution of Parliament by the Supreme Head and the announcement of nomination and polling will be done tomorrow," said the commission chairman Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman.
(Xinhua News Agency February 13, 2008)