Protesters detained as Malaysian parliament convenes

June 25, 2013
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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Police on Monday detained at least two dozen people protesting alleged election fraud as parliament convened for the first time since divisive polls last month, AFP reported.

About 300 people demonstrated on a road leading to parliament in the capital Kuala Lumpur, calling for a re-balloting.

Police, backed up by a dozen riot officers armed with shields, batons and tear gas, moved in after several hours, dragging away protesters and placing them into police trucks.

Khalid Samad, an opposition lawmaker, said at least 25 people were arrested.

Lawmakers from both the ruling coalition and three-party opposition were sworn in Monday, marking the start of a fresh five-year term following May 5th elections won by Prime Minister Najib Razak's Barisan Nasional (National Front).

The 56-year ruling coalition won the polls but with a reduced majority. It also lost the popular vote, garnering just 47%, but retained power due to rules governing seat apportionment.

The opposition has alleged that widespread fraud cost them a historic election victory. They claim widespread irregularities in the electoral roll, and have highlighted a debacle over supposedly indelible ink that was introduced to prevent multiple-voting but washed off easily.

Najib has denied any fraud took place, but the ink fiasco has not been explained.

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