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Malaysia's Anwar loses parliament seat after pardon bid rejected

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Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has lost his parliamentary seat after a petition for a royal pardon for his sodomy conviction was rejected.

[KUALA LUMPUR Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has lost his parliamentary seat after a petition for a royal pardon for his sodomy conviction was rejected.

A request by Anwar's family to the King for the former deputy prime minister to be freed was denied March 16, and his disqualification took effect then, parliament speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia said in a statement on Wednesday.

Anwar, 67, was sentenced to five years in prison in February after the country's highest court upheld a conviction for sodomy, agreeing with an appeals court that last year overturned his 2012 acquittal on the charge. He has denied the charges and his family petitioned the King.

His lawyer Latheefa Koya told reporters Wednesday that his family has not received official notification of the rejection.

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Malaysia's Election Commission will meet April 8 to discuss steps for a by-election for Anwar's Permatang Pauh seat, the Star newspaper reported, citing the agency's secretary Abdul Ghani Salleh.

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