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Malaysia's Anwar says has 'strong' support to form govt

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Kuala Lumpur (AFP)

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said Wednesday he had the "strong" backing of lawmakers and was seeking an audience with the king to form a new government.

The Southeast Asian nation has been in turmoil since an alliance that swept to power in 2018, which was headed by Mahathir Mohamad and included Anwar, collapsed in February amid bitter infighting.

Muhyiddin Yassin became premier at the head of a coalition that included a scandal-plagued party, but he had only a wafer-thin majority in parliament.

Speaking at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, veteran politician Anwar -- who has long sought to become prime minister -- said he now had the backing of enough MPs to form the government.

"Conclusively we have a strong, formidable majority," he said.

"I'm not talking about four, five, six... not a small majority."

He did not reveal how many lawmakers were backing him. He said he had been due to meet the king on Tuesday but the audience was postponed as the monarch is receiving treatment at a medical centre.

There was no immediate reaction from Muhyiddin. He will give a televised address later Wednesday.

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