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Malaysia's king discharged from hospital: state news agency

FILE PHOTO: Malaysia's King, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, inspects an honour guard during the 62nd Merdeka Day (Independence Day) celebrations in Putrajaya, Malaysia, August 31, 2019.ÊREUTERS/Lim Huey Teng

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia’s King Al-Sultan Abdullah was discharged from hospital on Friday after treatment for food poisoning and sports injuries, state news agency Bernama reported.

The king has recovered and will continue resting at the palace, Bernama reported, citing the palace comptroller Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin.

The king’s return to the palace could result in some movement in a power struggle over the country’s premiership, after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim sought a meeting with him to replace Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister.

Anwar said last week that he had secured a “strong, formidable” majority from lawmakers in parliament to oust Muhyiddin. But he has to convince the king that he has the numbers to form a government.

The king had agreed to meet Anwar last week but the appointment was cancelled as the king was unwell.

The king plays a largely ceremonial role in Malaysia but he could appoint a prime minister who in his view is likely to command a majority in parliament. He could also dissolve parliament and trigger elections on the premier’s advice.

The political turmoil comes just seven months after another power struggle that led to Muhyiddin getting the premiership and could delay efforts to stabilise an economy that is reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

No major political party has come out in support of Anwar but the leader of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the largest party in the ruling coalition, said there were “many” in his party who supported Anwar.

Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi and Liz Lee, Editing by William Maclean

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