(dpa) - Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Wednesday announced the dissolution of Parliament to pave way for the country's 12th general election.
Abdullah announced at a media conference at the premier's office in the administrative capital of Putrajaya that Malaysian King Mizan Zainal Abidin had given his consent for Parliament to be dissolved.
The Election Commission is expected to announce the election date on Thursday at a press conference.
Wednesday's dissolution of Parliament, 15 months before the expiry of its five-year term, comes as no surprise as Abdullah's leading coalition party had been announcing since late last year that election season was drawing near.
Abdullah, who took over from the former premier Mahathir Mohamad in November 2003, led his party to win a landslide victory during the last election in March 2004. But many political analysts predict the ruling coalition's majority will be eroded in this coming election.
Abdullad's popularity has plummeted as the nation is beset by mounting racial tensions, unprecedented street protests, anger over the rising cost of living and crime rates.