Anwar free to contest by-election, says PM

New Straits Times Online, PUTRAJAYA, Fri.:

Parti Keadilan Rakyat advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is free to contest in the by-election to be held for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency but, at the same time, the country’s laws pertaining to the sodomy allegation against him will take their course if there is a case, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today.

“No one will stop him from contesting,” the prime minister told reporters at his office here. He was asked to comment whether the country’s image would be jeopardised in the international arena should legal action be taken against Anwar now that he has announced his intention to contest in the by-election.

Anwar’s wife and PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail yesterday announced her resignation as the Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh, paving the way for a by-election and giving Anwar the opportunity to contest and make his way into parliament.

Abdullah said the due process of the country’s laws would not discontinue when an individual wanted to contest in an election, adding that there had been no such precedent. [more]

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