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Malaysia's Najib Razak quits as party, coalition chief

Malaysia's Najib Razak quits as party, coalition chief

Ousted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Saturday resigned as president of United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) party, and chairman of the Barisan Nasional alliance after leading the coalition to a shock loss.

"We all feel sad about what happened but as a party that upholds democratic principles, we accept the people's decision," he said, referring to the stunning defeat of the long-ruling alliance in Wednesday's general election.

Najib said his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also the former deputy prime minister, would take over as the new president of UMNO, the main component of the alliance.

"I have taken the decision to step down as president of UMNO and chairman of Barisan Nasional (BN) immediately," he told a press conference, surrounded by senior party members.

Najib has been barred from leaving the country amid reports that the government was reopening investigations into a multi-billion-dollar graft scandal at a state fund he founded.

An opposition alliance headed by new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, 92, inflicted a shock defeat on BN in Wednesday's election, ejecting the coalition from power after more than six decades of unbroken rule.