KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) said its lawmakers proposed PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the next prime minister when they met the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

In a statement, the three-party coalition said it had sought to bring Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad back and invited him to chair its presidential council meeting after the intrigue erupted.

However, PH said he declined to attend.

“As such, the presidential council resolved yesterday that Pakatan Harapan’s prime minister candidate is Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,” the coalition said.

The coalition had delayed the release of the statement to allow interim PM Dr Mahathir to address the nation via live telecast, during which he asked for the chance to lead a non-partisan government.

Asked if PH had sufficient numbers to form government, Anwar said such matters were not subject to the final decision of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

He added that it was premature to talk about numbers, pointing out official announcements concerning the next prime minister is now the prerogative of the King.

“On the issue of numbers, we have not surrendered and left it to the discretion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“It is completely improper, impolite to discuss that question because only the Agong is privy to that matter,” Anwar said.

Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah took an unprecedented move for an Agong yesterday to personally interview each MP to establish which candidate commands the confidence of the Dewan Rakyat.

The one-on-one interviews started yesterday and continued today, but it is unclear if the process is concluded.