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Malaysia elections: Mahathir sworn in as PM

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[KUALA LUMPUR]  Mahathir Mohamad officially became Malaysia’s prime minister a day after his disparate coalition ended the ruling coalition’s 61-year grip on power in the Southeast Asian nation.

The monarch known as Yang di-Pertuan Agong held a swearing-in ceremony for the 92-year-old Mahathir on Thursday evening in Kuala Lumpur. Mahathir had to collect signatures from party leaders in his coalition to prove he had their support after his bloc won a parliamentary majority in a Wednesday election.

Dr Mahathir’s coalition expects him to serve as interim prime minister until long-time opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is released from prison in June. To be eligible to take power, Anwar would have to secure a royal pardon and then win a by-election for a parliamentary seat.

Dr Mahathir pledged to work for a full pardon for Anwar in remarks to reporters on Thursday.

“There is a lot of work to be done,” he said. “We need to attend to this mess as soon as possible.”

 

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