Mahathir to continue as Malaysia PM for 1-2 years

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Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad on Tuesday said he will remain in office for at least one to two years.

Mahathir and Anwar (a jailed reformist) won the general election last week. They ousted the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition for the first time in the history of the South-east Asian nation.

Mahathir, 92 was sworn in as the leader on Thursday, making him the world’s oldest democratically elected leader.

In “an initial stage, maybe lasting one or two years, I will be the prime minister”, Mahathir said.

 

The pardons board in Malaysia’s capital will meet this week to discuss Anwar’s release and Mahathir said he would be released the same day.

Anwar, 70, is serving a second five-year jail term for sodomy. He and his supporters have said the charges are politically motivated by Najib to end his career.

During the campaign, Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years in a previous stint from 1981, had promised to step aside and make Anwar prime minister once he was pardoned.

 

The volatile relationship between the duo has dominated the country’s political landscape for over three decades.

In the 1990s, Mahathir was prime minister, Anwar who worked under him was his deputy and clear heir-apparent.

But in 1998, they disagreed on how to tackle the Asian financial crisis and fell out. Mahathir sacked and jailed Anwar on charges of sodomy and corruption.

In 2004, Anwar was freed but in 2015 was jailed again for five years for sodomizing a former aide.

In a U-turn last year, Anwar shook hands with Mahathir and agreed to join forces to oust scandal-tainted Najib.

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