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BN govt waiting to be sworn-in

IPOH, 5 Feb 2009: The new Barisan Nasional (BN)-led state government for Perak is about to be sworn in by Sultan Azlan Shah at Istana Kinta.

Among those who sought an audience with the sultan included Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who arrived there at 5.50pm.

Also at the palace are Perak Barisan Nasional chairperson, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, along with the 28 BN assemblypersons, and 3 independents who are “friendly” to the coalition.

The three independent assemblypersons are Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang), Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering) and Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang). Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman were formerly from Parti Keadilan Rakyat, while Hee was a DAP member. All three quit their parties amid charges they had been bought over by the BN.

This morning, Sultan Azlan in a statement refused to give consent to dissolve the state legislative assembly, and ordered Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin and his state executive council to step down with immediate effect.

This paved the way for the BN to form the state government.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak sought an audience with the sultan this morning, and he informed the ruler that the BN and its supporters, altogether numbering 31, now had the majority in the state assembly.

The statement from the office of the Sultan of Perak said that the sultan, to verify the information, summoned all the 31 assemblypersons before him.

“After meeting the 31 state assemblypersons, his Royal Highness, the Sultan of Perak was convinced that YAB Datuk Seri Ir Haji Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin had ceased to command the confidence of the majority of the state assembly members,” it said.

The Pakatan Rakyat state government has, however, refused to step down. This morning, it filed suit at the High Court here today to declare the Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang state seats vacant, thereby compelling the Election Commission to call for by-elections in those seats.

This afternoon, Nizar said he will not resign as the Menteri Besar of Perak, and claimed he is still the legitimate Menteri Besar according to the state constitution. — Bernama

(To be updated) 

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