Anwar Ibrahim returns to Malaysian politics after by-election victory

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption, Anwar Ibrahim was in high spirits in Port Dickson on Saturday.

Malaysia’s former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has been elected to parliament, returning to the forefront of politics.

The 71-year-old won the Port Dickson town by-election on Saturday.

Anwar’s onetime rival and current Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, 93, has promised to hand power to him in two years.

According to the Election Commission, Anwar won 71 percent of the vote on Saturday in Port Dickson, where members of the current ruling coalition resigned to make way for him.

“I’ll see you in parliament on Monday,” Anwar told an AFP reporter as he was greeted by supporters at a polling station in the coastal town.

Has the political drama been resolved?

Image caption, Anwar Ibrahim (left) declared “reconciliation” with Mahathir Mohamad (right).

Dr Mahathir’s election victory as leader of the then opposition party Pakatan Harapan marked the end of more than 60 years of rule by the Nasional Nasional (BN) coalition.

Both he and Anwar once held power as prime minister and deputy prime minister respectively as part of BN.

Anwar was seen as Mahathir’s successor but relations deteriorated after he was ousted in 1998 after a leadership dispute and later jailed on corruption and sexual misconduct charges widely seen as politically motivated.

He had his homosexual conviction overturned in 2004 and led the opposition to unprecedented victories in the 2008 and 2013 general elections, though he failed to win.

But that acquittal was overturned a year later and, as he was heading into a state election that seemed certain to win, he was returned to prison to serve out his nine-year sentence.

Anwar has since denied bearing any ill will towards the former leader, who received a royal pardon.

Video captions, On Anwar and Mahathir: “In this political process, we use each other”


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