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Malaysia elections: PM-in-waiting Anwar watches Mahathir swearing in from hospital
[KUALA LUMPUR] Pakatan Harapan’s prime minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim watched the swearing-in ceremony of his former nemesis and now ally Mahathir Mohamad from his hospital bed on Thursday, reported the Malay Mail Online.
Tun Mahathir was appointed Malaysia’s seventh prime minister on Thursday, after PH swept a majority of parliamentary seats at the general election on Wednesday, ending Barisan Nasional’s six decades in power.
Anwar, the jailed leader of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) a member of the PH coalition, is serving a five-year sentence for sodomy and is due to be released on June 8. He is currently warded at a hospital in Cheras to recover from recent surgery.
On Thursday, assemblyman for Seberang Jaya, Penang Afif Bahardin posted photos of himself with Anwar and PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali at the hospital.
“Thank God, the people’s victory enabled this to happen. Azmin Ali and I got to meet Anwar just now in Cheras. We pray that all processes will go on smoothly,” Dr Afif said in Twitter post.
Both Dr Mahathir and Anwar were former senior leaders in Umno, the party which leads BN. During his first tenure as prime minister from 1981 to 2003, Dr Mahathir sacked Anwar from his post as deputy prime minister, prompting the formation in 1999 of then opposition Parti Keadilan Nasional, the precursor to PKR.
The former foes became allies in 2016, after Dr Mahathir left Umno and formed Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, a member party of the PH coalition.
Dr Mahathir is PH’s candidate for prime minister, on the understanding that he will hand over the post to Anwar after Anwar is released from prison and secures a royal pardon that will enable him to contest in a by-election and become an MP.
Malaysian law disqualifies Anwar from running for office for five years after his release, unless he is pardoned by the country’s King.
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