Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wan Azizah quits, Anwar to contest

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has quit as Permatang Pauh Member of Parliament to make way for husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest in a by-election.

She handed her resignation letter to Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia on Thursday, she said at a press conference here on Thursday.

She will remain as party president, she added.

Anwar, under a police investigation for allegedly sodomising a former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 23, had previously said he would contest in the Kulim-Bandar Baharu parliamentary constituency, where an election petition is pending.

The case is scheduled for hearing on Aug 19.

On Thursday, Anwar said he had decided to contest in Pematang Pauh instead because the Kulim petition might take too long to settle.

He had previously said that he would have the numbers to form the government by Sept 16, and said the sodomy allegation was a conspiracy the Barisan Nasional Government to stop him from doing so.

He has denied the sodomy allegations and has filed a defamation suit against Mohd Saiful.
Also on Thursday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar announced that the police had wrapped up their investigations into the sodomy case, and have sent their report to the Attorney-General's Chambers for further action.

The Election Commission is required under the law to call for a by-election within 60 days. Its chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said the Commission would start preparing for the by-election upon receiving notice from the Speaker.

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