Party exit polls claim Malaysia's Anwar won 61% of vote

PERMATANG PAUH, Malaysia - Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's party said Tuesday its exit polls indicate he has won 61 per cent of the votes in a by-election expected to return him to parliament.

"From our exit poll figures and what we are tracking, Anwar is safely leading in the polls and... I think that it is right to say about 61 per cent," said Sivarasa Rasiah, vice-president of the Keadilan party.

Sivarasa said that the candidate from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, Arif Shah Omar Shah, had garnered about 39 per cent of the vote.

"We are still not declaring victory as we will wait for the official election results from the Election Commission," he said.

Polling booths opened at 8:00am (0000 GMT) and are due to close at 5:00pm. Results are expected to be released by 10:00 pm.

- AFP/ir

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