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Malaysia's Anwar wins by-election, steps closer to premiership

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21:40 13-10-2018
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Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim won a by-election engineered for his return to parliament by an overwhelming majority on Saturday, bringing him closer to the premiership that has been promised to him by former foe, Mahathir Mohamad, Euronews reports.

The victory marks Anwar's official return to political life just five months after he was freed from jail, and will also be the first time that both he and Mahathir are members of parliament under the same banner after a bitter feud lasting over 20 years.

Anwar, who has been the face of Malaysia's Reformasi or Reform movement over the past twenty years, won the seat by a majority of over 23,500 votes despite a low voter turnout on polling day in the coastal parliamentary seat of Port Dickson.

"Reform doesn't end in one month, or four months, or a year. Reform means cleaning up and freeing the media, removing corruption, making ethical behaviour a culture in politics," he told supporters at a victory rally, broadcast live on social media.

"I would like to tell all of you who voted, and our friends from all over the country... I will not waste this trust given to me," he said to cheers from hundreds gathered.

In May, Mahathir, 93, led the Pakatan Harapan, or Alliance of Hope, coalition to a spectacular victory in a general election, unseating his former protege Najib Razak and ending the 61-year rule of the Barisan Nasional coalition.