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Voting Opens In Malaysia's Tightly Contested Elections

The long-ruling coalition of Malaysia began voting in a tight national election on Saturday, which will determine whether it can overcome a four-year electoral defeat.

Malaysia
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Malaysians began casting ballots on Saturday in a tightly contested national election that will determine whether the country's longest-ruling coalition can make a comeback after its electoral defeat four years ago.

Political reformers under opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim are gunning for a second victory but with three main blocs vying for votes, analysts said the outcome is hard to predict and could lead to new alliances if there is a hung Parliament.

Polling booths opened at 7:30 am (2330 GMT) in two states on Borneo island, and half an hour later in peninsula Malaysia. More than 21 million (2.1 crores) Malaysians are eligible to cast ballots to fill 222 seats in the federal Parliament and choose representatives in three state legislatures. The Election Commission has extended voting time from nine to 10 hours, with results expected to be out late in the day. 

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