Friday, September 19, 2008

Anwar wants Parliament to meet by Sept 23

The Star,Thursday September 18, 2008 MYT 2:56:08 PM

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claims he sent a letter to the Prime Minister on Thursday requesting him to call an emergency Parliament session no later that Sept 23 to deliberate on a vote of no-confidence against Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s leadership.

The letter was jointly signed by him as PKR leader, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and DAP parliament leader Lim Kit Siang, he said at a press conference at the PKR headquarters here Thursday afternoon.

“We will convene an emergency meeting if there is no response from the Prime Minister.

“And we won’t reveal the 31 names (of the MPs crossing over) unless the Prime Minister categorically assures that MPs are given their chance to appear (in Parliament) next Tuesday (Sept 23) to give their vote in the motion of ‘no-confidence’ against the PM,” he added.

The Opposition leader and Permatang Pauh MP also told reporters that he has been in touch with SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

The Sabah party announced on Wednesday that it was pulling out of Barisan Nasional but would not be joining Pakatan Rakyat.

Yong had said SAPP would remain independent in the Opposition bench until a time came when the party was ready to be back in government.

On Tuesday, Anwar claimed that he had enough lawmakers to form a new government but has officially delayed the takeover deadline.

He said he was prepared to delay the deadline in the interest of a smooth transition of power.

He said he was also ready to show Abdullah Ahmad Badawi the list of Barisan Nasional MPs defecting over to Pakatan Rakyat should Abdullah grant him a meeting.

“The numbers are increasing by the hour, but as of now, it is in excess of 31 MPs, This is not empty talk. I am fully responsible for my statement but we have choose to be patient and use the conciliatory way,” Anwar had told a packed press conference at the PKR headquarters.

The Opposition Leader said he would even give Abdullah the list of names of Barisan MPs wanting to defect at their meeting.

“I am appealing in the name of political stability and smooth transition. It will be preposterous for the Prime Minister to deny me this meeting. He has no choice but to negotiate since we have the numbers,” said Anwar.

Asked why he still refused to give the exact number of defecting MPs, or their names, Anwar replied there was fear the MPs would be detained or harassed.

Pressed for a deadline for the meeting, Anwar said he did not like to give any ultimatum but it should be within these few days or other options would be considered.

Asked if he would seek an audience with the King and present himself as commanding majority in Parliament, or would he seek a no-confidence motion against Abdullah at the next Parliament sitting in October, Anwar was non-committal and said such options would be discussed at the highest leadership level in Pakatan.

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