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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who has missed several deadlines to unseat the government, says he is running out of options to replace the ruling coalition.

Seven months after reducing the Barisan Nasional’s majority in Parliament in the March general election, he has failed to get BN lawmakers to cross over to the opposition and to table a vote of no confidence in Parliament in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The premier's response was to accelerate a power handover to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak, according to Bloomberg.

"I'm not saying we have no options left, but I'm saying it's getting to be much more difficult," Anwar said in an interview with Bloomberg yesterday.

His three-party Pakatan Rakyat coalition remains confident it can woo the 30 BN MPs it needs to form a majority in Parliament after taking control of 5 of 13 states in the March elections, he said.

Anwar's assessment, the most pessimistic since the election, suggests the transfer of power to Najib will be smooth, removing the uncertainty that has contributed to a 37 per cent decline in the benchmark stock index this year, the report said.

"It's only right for Anwar to clarify Pakatan's stand to the public," regarding their diminishing options, Bloomberg quoted Tricia Yeoh, director of the Centre for Public Policy Studies, an independent research institute in Kuala Lumpur, as saying. "They should focus on administering the five states well and strengthening the bonds within the parties. This will demonstrate that they can be a formidable alternative federal government."


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