(Mar 4): Malaysia has delayed its parliament sitting by more than two months, forcing former leader Mahathir Mohamad to wait until May for a confidence vote against the new premier.

Parliament will be in session from May 18 to June 23, from March 9 initially, with this year’s second and third sitting also delayed to July 27 and September 28, respectively, according to a statement from the speaker. The sitting schedule is determined by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who was appointed this weekend, and the government of the day.

The delay will give Muhyiddin extra time to shore up support and prove his majority in the divided parliament. It’s also set to extend the period of uncertainty following the political turmoil that saw the former ruling coalition implode last week.

Mahathir’s abrupt resignation as premier on Feb 24 was followed by shifting allegiances among lawmakers in the race to form a government. When support from then-opposition coalition rallied behind Muhyiddin, Mahathir returned to the fray and seemed to gain traction on Saturday, but it was too late as the king named Muhyiddin as the lawmaker most likely to gain the backing of the majority in parliament.

Mahathir has since called for an urgent confidence vote in parliament to show that he has the numbers to form a government, while disputing Muhyiddin’s claim that he has the support of the entire Bersatu party, which includes Mahathir and his son.

Muhyiddin left the former Pakatan Harapan government last week and gained the support of Barisan Nasional coalition, which had been in power for six decades before being ousted in 2018 amid corruption scandals and discontent over living costs.

In his first address to the nation, Muhyiddin asked the people to allow him a chance to rule.

“Give me a little time to set the main direction of this government and country under the new administration,” he said on Monday.