Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim assured supporters on Saturday that he was still determined to unseat the government, which foiled his bid to seize power more than two months ago.
Anwar had boasted he would be able to persuade dozens of ruling coalition lawmakers to join his opposition alliance by mid-September.
After no defections occurred, Anwar accused the government of using legal roadblocks to prevent a peaceful power transfer.
In a speech at the annual congress of his People’s Justice Party on Saturday, Anwar told more than 2 000 opposition members that the ruling National Front coalition “cannot block the will of the people(Anwar’s)”.
Political observers say it remains unclear whether Anwar ever had sufficient support to oust Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s administration, which rejected Anwar’s demands in September to discuss a voluntary power transfer or to call a special Parliament session to hold a vote on confidence in Abdullah’s leadership.
Anwar’s three-party opposition alliance won an unprecedented 82 seats in the 222-member Parliament in March elections, gaining ground as the National Front’s popularity plummeted amid racial disputes, a weak economy and corruption accusations.
Anwar reiterated his pledge to implement fair economic and social policies if the opposition takes power, but he did not set any new deadline. Malaysia’s next general elections are scheduled to be held in 2013.
“We promised change … but the change has not yet been achieved,” the former deputy prime minister said. “Our future is bright.”
Anwar’s comments came amid expectations of a small electoral battle. Deputy Education Minister Razali Ismail collapsed and died while playing badminton late on Friday, and a by-election will need to be held for his parliamentary seat.