Former Malaysian deputy PM Anwar wins by-election to become parliamentarian

Former Malaysian deputy PM Anwar wins by-election to become parliamentarian

PORT DICKSON, Malaysia (Rahnuma): Former Malaysian deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim returned to the political center stage after winning a by-election to become a member of parliament (MP) on Saturday.

Anwar won comfortably by securing more than 70 percent of the votes in a multi-corner fight, despite a lower turnout of 58.3 percent compared with more than 80 percent in the general election in May, according to Malaysia’s election commission.

Anwar said his victory is “vote of confidence” to the Pakatan Harapan government led by Prime Minister Mahathir Mahamad.

Expected to be sworn-in on Monday, Anwar said he will focus on assisting “effective parliamentary reforms.”

The 71-year-old Anwar was granted a royal pardon on his sodomy conviction following Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the general election. He has since won the presidency of his People’s Justice Party unchallenged.

The by-election was triggered by the resignation of the previous member of parliament for the Port Dickson constituency.

Mahathir has also broken his decades-long practice not to campaign for by-election, attending an earlier campaign event to support Anwar.

The reconciliation between Mahathir and Anwar was crucial for Pakatan Harapan’s victory, and Mahathir has promised to hand over the premiership to Anwar.

Becoming an MP will pave the way for the succession.

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