Malaysia’s Anwar to return to Parliament after October polls

Kuala Lumpur, Sep 20: The Malaysian Election Commission on Thursday set October 13 as the date for a key by-election that will be contested by the country’s former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim for his return to active politics.

He will contest the by-election for the Port Dickson parliamentary seat, vacated by Danyal Balagopal Abdullah, a lawmaker from Anwar’s People’s Justice Party who had resigned in August to make way for his party chief’s return to Parliament, Efe news reported.

Danyal had won the seat in the parliamentary elections in May with a big margin of 36,225 votes, garnering almost double the number of votes than his closest rival.

In the May elections, an opposition-coalition led by current Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had toppled the ruling alliance of former Premier Najib Razak, which had governed the country since independence in 1957.

Anwar could not contest the elections as he was serving a sentence on charges of sodomy at the time. He was freed later following a royal pardon after his party came to power.

The 93-year-old Mahathir, who had served as the Prime Minister of Malaysia between 1981 and 2003, had said he will hand over the presidency to Anwar within two years.

The by-election date was announced hours after Najib was charged with 21 counts of money laundering in the 1MDB embezzlement scandal.

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