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Anwar Reaffirms Bid to Take Over Malaysian Government


Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim insists he is "on track" with his plan to topple the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi by September 16.

Anwar made the declaration Wednesday outside a Kuala Lumpur courtroom, where a hearing was held on the sodomy charges brought against him. He is accused of having sexual relations with a former male aide. Anwar says the charges are politically motivated.

The former deputy prime minister says he is working to get 30 lawmakers belonging to the ruling party to defect to his three-party coalition. But around 50 lawmakers have been sent on an overseas tour.

Prosecutors asked the judge in Wednesday's hearing to transfer Anwar's case to a higher court, a move he opposes. The judge put off his decision until September 24, and extended Anwar's bail.

Anwar returned to parliament last month after winning a by-election for his old seat. He was fired as deputy prime minister in 1998 after he was charged with sodomy and corruption. He was convicted and spent six years in prison.

Malaysia's top court overturned the sodomy conviction and freed him in 2004, but his corruption conviction barred him from seeking office again until April this year.

His opposition coalition won 82 parliamentary seats in elections last March, ending the ruling party's two-thirds majority in the 222-seat assembly

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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