Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (R) and Anwar Ibrahim at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on June 1 (Photo: AFP/VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Malaysia’s former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim officially returned to political life just five months after he was freed from jail by winning a by-election for a parliamentary seat on October 13.

According to the Election Commission of Malaysia, 71-year-old Anwar received 31,016 votes for the parliamentary seat in the southern coastal town of Port Dickson, defeating six other candidates. His closest rival secured only 7,456 votes.

[Malaysia: Former Deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim to return to politics]

The landslide victory was seen as a grand political comeback to help Anwar prepare for his eventual takeover from Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Anwar was designated as Mahathir's successor after the two men set aside a bitter feud and joined hands to capture a stunning victory in the general election in May 2018.

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

Anwar could not contest as he was in jail on a 2015 sodomy conviction, but his renewed partnership with Mahathir was key to the election win, after which Mahathir secured a royal pardon for Anwar.

Mahathir, the world's oldest leader at 93, had previously said he expected to be in office for at least two years and will keep his promise to hand over power to Anwar.-VNA