Pakatan’s next stop – the Istana
Posted September 17, 2008on:
|Pakatan’s next stop – the Istana|
|Fauwaz Abdul Aziz | Sep 16, 08 4:00pm|
|Pakatan Rakyat leaders will seek an audience with the king should Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi decline to meet them to discuss a peaceful transition of power by Barisan Nasional.
PKR information chief Tian Chua said this may happen as soon as within the next 24 to 48 hours.
“We’ve already said that we have the numbers, and Anwar (Ibrahim) just now revealed we have more than 31 Barisan Nasional MPs,” said Chua, in reference to a press conference held earlier this afternoon.
In the event they do meet Abdullah but he refuses to resign, he said Pakatan may seek the intervention of the Agong, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin (left in photo), to persuade him to step down.
“As much as possible, however, we will try to avoid dragging the king into this,” Chua said when contacted.
‘116 MPs in the bag’
Earlier today, AFP quoted PAS treasurer Dr Hatta Ramli as having said that the opposition coalition would seek an audience with the king to seek a mandate to rule, should Abdullah reject the request for a meeting.
“The issue of the appointment of the prime minister and change of government is very much the role of the king,” Hatta said.
He claimed that the opposition now has the support of as many as 116 parliamentarians. This would mean 35 government defectors.
At the press conference today, Opposition Leader Anwar said he had signed up more than the 31 BN defectors needed to form a new government and called on Abdullah not to implement emergency rule to thwart a takeover.
Anwar, however, did not reveal the names of any of the lawmakers.
“We want a peaceful transition. We hope that Barisan will not (impose) emergency rule to stop MPs from going to Parliament or arrest (government) MPs or stop them from joining Pakatan Rakyat,” he said.
“That’s why we have taken a very soft, conciliatory option. I am not making excuses. We have the numbers. We can and are prepared to move. If after a few days there is no response, Pakatan leaders will meet and see what is the next course of action.”
After the March 8 general election, Anwar set himself a target of Sept 16 to persuade at least 30 government lawmakers to switch sides and enable him to form a new administration.