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Asia-Pacific
Anwar in party race despite ban
Malaysian leader to contest Saturday's vote for presidency of the Keadilan party.
Last Modified: 25 May 2007 18:10 GMT
Anwar is seeking to return to active politics after a gap of 10 years [AP]

Anwar Ibrahim, the Malaysian opposition figure, will press ahead with his plan to run for the presidency of the Keadilan party, a party official has said.
 

Anwar's decision to contest Saturday's vote comes despite a state authority's decision to uphold a five-year ban that prevents him from holding public or party office.

"Keadilan strongly condemns the move by ROS [Registrar of Societies] as a deliberate ploy to prevent the re-emergence of Anwar into active political leadership," Tian Chua, the party's information chief, said.
 
"He has expressed his intention to go ahead with the elections tomorrow."
Anwar, seeking a return to active politics after nearly 10 years, is one of three candidates vying for the presidency of Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
 
On Friday the Registrar of Societies rejected his bid to run in the polls, upholding the ban that was imposed in 2003 following his conviction for corruption.
 
Interview

Riz Khan talks to Anwar Ibrahim

The ban runs until April 2008. Anwar has since appealed to Malaysia's home minister, who has the right to grant a waiver, against the decision, Chua said.
 
Precautionary move
 
The current party chief is Anwar's wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also running for the presidency, said to be largely a precautionary move in case authorities disqualify Anwar.
 
Anwar, a former deputy premier, was charged with both corruption and sodomy in 1998, days after he fell out with Mahathir Mohamad, his boss and Malaysia's then president, calling for political reforms and heading a campaign of protest that culminated in a popular "Reformasi" movement.
 
Malaysian law bans criminals from holding public office for five years after their release from jail.
 
Anwar had effectively served his corruption sentence in April 2003, but remained in jail until acquitted of sodomy in 2004.
Source:
Agencies
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