GeriGündem Malaysia's Anwar leaves Turkish embassy, vows to run for parliament
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Malaysia's Anwar leaves Turkish embassy, vows to run for parliament

Malaysia's Anwar leaves Turkish embassy, vows to run for parliament
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Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said he'll detail his plans to run for parliament and will announce the defection of four ruling party lawmakers to his alliance this week. Anwar spend a day at the Turkish Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, where he took refuge.(UPDATED)

Anwar told reporters after leaving the Turkish Embassy said he had sought refuge there because he feared for his life after police said they were investigating him for sodomy.

 

He went to the Turkish Embassy after an aide accused him of sodomy, and he said he would stay there until the government could guarantee his safety. Anwar, 60, denies the allegations, which he says are designed to block his political resurgence. His lawyers have now filed a libel suit against his 23-year-old male accuser.

 

Turkey said the acceptance of Anwar's demands did not have any political objective. "Malaysia had been informed that Anwar's demand to (take refuge) was accepted only for humanitarian reasons, and is not of any political nature," the foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday.

 

Anwar left the embassy after a meeting between Malaysia's Foreign Minister, Rais Yatim, and Turkish ambassador Barlas Ozener.

 

"The ambassador is of the view that he would like Anwar to be out of the premises as soon as possible, as congenially as possible," Rais said.

 

But Anwar denied he had been forced out, and told the Associated Press he had made the decision to leave after the government had made "all the undertakings to assure (his) personal safety".

 

Anwar has said the allegation that he committed sodomy with a young aide was probably a ploy to distract public attention from rising food and fuel prices and other scandals afflicting Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's government.

 

He also said he fled to the embassy at the invitation of the Turkish ambassador. His aides said other embassies made similar offers but Anwar chose Turkey because he is an economic adviser to the Turkish government.

 

The sensational developments, almost a repeat of the country's worst political crisis 10 years ago, is further roiling waters muddied since polls on March 8 that dealt Abdullah’ National Front coalition the worst electoral drubbing in Malaysian history.

 

 

SIMILAR EVENTS

The latest developments echo, albeit less acutely, the kind of crisis the country endured a decade ago. Anwar was sacked as deputy prime minister in 1998 in the midst of the Asian financial crisis after leading a "reformasi" (reform) movement against then premier Mahathir Mohamad. He was then jailed for sodomy and corruption. The Supreme Court overturned the sodomy conviction in 2004.

 

Anwar has seen a revival of his fortunes after the opposition alliance won control of five of Malaysia's 13 states and denied the National Front coalition its traditional two-thirds majority.

 

In April, he became eligible again to seek political office after the expiry of a five year-ban on holding office over the corruption conviction.

 

Anwar maintains he has lined up enough defections from the ruling coalition -- he needs 30 -- to bring down Abdullah's government and said he would do so in mid-September.

 

The new sodomy allegations were disclosed late on Saturday after Anwar's private assistant, identified by his party as 23-year-old Saiful Bukhari Azlan, lodged a police complaint.

 

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