What the Westminster model really says about who gets first shot at govt

The Westminster model is based on political parties, not coalitions.

(MalaysiaNow) – There have been calls by top Pakatan Harapan (PH) supporters like former attorney-general Tommy Thomas and former Bar Council president Ambiga for PH to be given the first go to form a government because it is the coalition that garnered the most seats in the 15th general election (GE15).

This is purportedly based on the Westminster model of democracy, on which our democracy is modelled.

And this call is gaining traction among lay supporters of PH, dejected that the coalition failed to cross the 112 threshold to form the government with a simple majority, or more than 100 seats as confidently predicted by PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli for it to cross the threshold by combining with other coalitions.

All these look like a desperate attempt to prevent PN from forming the government with other coalitions.

This desperation was seen when Singapore’s Straits Times reported a while ago that political enemies, Anwar Ibrahim, president of PKR, and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, met in an eleventh hour talk as the palace deadline looms.

It’s like two enemies are meeting for the sake their own survival.

PH’s largest component, DAP, agreed Sunday night to Anwar’s move to rope in the Umno-led BN, according to ST citing sources.

But let’s just see how solid the argument is that PH should be given the first go simply because it has the highest number of seats based on the Westminster democracy.

In any democracy, especially the Westminster model, when there is a hung Parliament, the leader of the party with the most number of seats will be given the first go to form a government within a specified period – say three days or one week.

When the time is up and if the party fails to form the government, the next party with the highest number of seats will be given the go to form a government, and so on.

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