Malaysia’s Anwar urges nationwide poll protests

AFP-JIJI

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has called a protest tour over elections he says the ruling regime stole.

The White House meanwhile urged authorities to “address concerns” about voter fraud.

Anwar late Wednesday addressed a rally of supporters dressed in black to protest Sunday’s polls. They filled a stadium and spilled out into surrounding areas, swamping a corner of Kuala Lumpur for hours. Declaring the elections the “death of democracy,” he called for a sustained campaign against electoral bias and cheating that he says props up an “arrogant, racist regime.”

“We will go to every corner of this country,” Anwar declared, prompting roars from the multiracial crowd.

The huge turnout and the charismatic Anwar’s call upped the ante in a campaign by the opposition to paint the elections as a fraudulent victory for the regime that has ruled for 56 years.

Anwar has said he would soon produce evidence to prove the elections were riddled with fraud by what he calls an “illegitimate” National Front government.