AFTER MIDNIGHT UPDATE:
Anwar: I will swear, I will take an oath ...
After a rousing victory speech in front of some 10,000 supporters at the sports complex of the Institute Tuanku Bainun in Tanah Liat, Permatang Pauh, Anwar leaned over the railing and told reporters:
"Tomorrow, I will swear ... And I will take an oath .... In Parliament!".
It must have been a line that Anwar had rehearsed many times and saved for lthat very moment when victory is in hand. The by-election he had just won was dominated by issues of sex and sodomy. His refusal to swear on the Quran in response to the oath taken by his former aide Saiful, who is accusing Anwar of sodomizing him, had rattled Anwar and the PKR for a while during the campaigning.
DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang told a joint press conference a little later that the Pakatan Rakyat will insist that the Dewan Rakyat Speaker hasten the swearing-in of Anwar Ibrahim as a Member of Parliament and "... as leader of the Opposition, seated right in front of the Prime Minister."
Kit warned that if Anwar is not sworn in, the tabling of the 2009 Budget by PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi this Friday will be made to be very difficult. "There is no reason to delay the swearing-in," Husam Musa, the PAS vice chairman, said.
11.20pm: Anwar wins big -- 31,195 votes (15,671 vote-majority)
Hanafi Mamat: 92
9.15pm: Anwar Ibrahim arrives at the tally centre where he will be announced winner of the Permatang Pauh by a bigger majority.
At the moment (9.30pm), the last portions of the votes are being counted.
Anwar is over 17,000 votes ahead of his opponent, Umno's Arif Shah. (The other contender is Hanafi Mamat of Akim)
Given that voter turn-out was lower, Anwar has won by a majority bigger than that by his wife, Dr Wan Azizah Ismail. She won by more than 13,000 votes.
A crowd of about 10,000 has already gathered here. And they are jubilant.
9.35pm: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng arrives.