Malaysia Islamist party says not to join unity gov't

Malaysia's opposition Islamist party said it would reject an offer of the ruling government to form a pact.

Malaysia Islamist party says not to join unity gov't

Malaysia's opposition Islamist party said it would reject an offer of the ruling government to form a pact, opting instead to consolidate a "government-in-waiting" under the leadership of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Pan Malaysia Islamic Party (PAS) leaders said at an annual assembly they would turn down the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party's offer of a unity government that would have stymied Anwar's hopes of wresting power in polls due by 2013.

PAS and UMNO held surprise talks last year.

UMNO, the dominant party in the ruling National Front coalition that has ruled this Southeast Asian country for 51 years, is still struggling to recover from historic defeats in general elections last year.

"The party leadership never had any intention to join UMNO or the National Front... we will instead strengthen and consolidate the People's Alliance," PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa said late on Wednesday to cheers when opening the party's youth wing meeting at the nation's capital.

The People's Alliance is a coalition of opposition parties led by Anwar.

"As far as this assembly is concerned, we are preparing for the next general election. The message that we must now consider ourselves a government-in-waiting is very clear," he told reporters later.

Nasharudin is being challenged by the party vice president Husam Musa who leads a group bitterly opposed to cooperating with UMNO.

A cleric, Nasharudin enjoys the backing of the party's conservatives and was among the PAS leaders who led talks with the government after the 2008 polls to jointly govern the economic powerhouse state of Selangor and northwestern Perak.


Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Haziran 2009, 16:03
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