Malaysian opposition says to challenge Perak decision
Malaysian police fired teargas on Friday at opposition supporters protesting against the government seizing power in the northern state of Perak.
Over a thousand opposition supporters were stopped by police from marching to the Iskandariah Palace where the swearing-in of the new pro-governent chief minister was about to take place.
Police in riot gear fired teargas and protesters threw stones after the crowd refused to disperse and roads to the palace were blocked, a Reuters photographer said.
The standoff follows the ousting on Thursday of the state government which had been run by a national opposition coalition led by Anwar Ibrahim. They lost power after the defection of a number of lawmakers.
Despite the consent of Perak's ruler to the appointment of a new state administration from the National Front -- the alliance that has run Malaysia for 51 years -- the opposition remained defiant and threatened legal action.
Former chief minister Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin was ordered from his office on Friday, but insisted: "I will go about my job as usual".
The power shift, after four opposition state legislators, including two who have been charged in court with corruption, switched sides, is set to boost incoming premier Najib Razak as he faces polls in the main ruling party.
The opposition, which last year tried to seize power nationally with the aid of defecting government MPs, said it would mount a legal challenge to the decision by the ruler of Perak's decision to recognise the new state government.
"In law, the decision of the Sultan of Perak can be questioned in a court of law," said Karpal Singh, chairman of the Democratic Action Party, one of the three parties in Anwar's opposition alliance.
Constitutional law professor Shad Saleem Faruqi said that while the political standoff was an "embarrassment" for the government, there was no constitutional crisis in either the state or the country.
"The fact remains that a new state government is being formed, and Malaysia still has a ruling government with 60 percent of the (parliamentary) seats," he said.
Reuters Last Mod: 06 Şubat 2009, 12:06