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Malaysia's Long-Ruling Coalition Extends Rule

Malaysia's long-governing coalition has won national elections to extend its 56 years of unbroken rule, fending off the strongest opposition it has ever faced.

The Election Commission reported Prime Minister Najib Razak's National Front coalition captured 112 of Malaysia's 222 parliamentary seats to win a simple majority Sunday. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's three-party alliance took 57 seats with more than two-thirds of the results confirmed.

More than 10-million people cast ballots for a record turnout of about 80 percent.

It was the National Front's 13th consecutive victory in general elections since Malaysia's independence from Britain in 1957. The ruling bloc is headed by Mr. Razak's United Malays National Organization.

It faced its most unified challenge from an opposition coalition that hoped to capitalize on allegations of arrogance, abuse of public funds and racial discrimination against the government.

The opposition retained control of northern Penang state, one of Malaysia's wealthiest territories, and remained strong in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's largest city.

Numerous rumors of cheating plagued the polls, including the use of indelible ink to mark voters that can be easily washed off, and foreigners being flown in to cast ballots.

A dozen seats for state lawmakers were also on the ballot.

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