PAS endorses Anwar in bid for political reform

By David Chance and Soo Ai Peng

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s leading opposition figure, Anwar Ibrahim, cleared a major hurdle in his race to win power when an Islamist party endorsed him on Wednesday as leader of an anti-government alliance.

The move by Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) came after Anwar’s convincing win in a by-election and was made despite reservations among some sections of the Islamic party about the “rainbow alliance” of which they are a part.

However, political analysts say that Anwar may struggle to hold his coalition together, let along find the 30 defectors from the ranks of government MPs he needs to join him to win power.

The government has been on the back foot since losing its two-thirds majority in an election in March and there were calls on Wednesday for Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to quit. [more]


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