Voting begins in PD by election

Voting begins in PD by election

Mahathir returned to the premiership this year after a shock election win, saying he would stay in power for only two years before handing the reins to Anwar. It was the first time that the two men shared the same political stage together in 20 years.

The Election Commission said it expects a 70% turnout from more than 75,000 voters in Port Dickson, a popular holiday retreat, and will announce results Saturday night.

Voting opened Saturday in a by-election that is expected to see charismatic Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim win a parliamentary seat and return to active politics as he prepares for his eventual takeover from Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Anwar could not participate in the polls due to a 2015 conviction for sodomy - a charge he alleged was politically motivated - but he was freed after receiving a royal pardon days after the polls.

But he has campaigned doggedly on the multibillion-dollar graft scandal at state fund 1MDB, over which former leader Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor are facing dozens of corruption charges.

Both he and Mr Anwar were formerly in power, as part of the BN, as PM and deputy respectively.

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Takiyuddin said that PAS did not deny the full pardon granted by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V to Anwar under Article 42 of the Federal Constitution, but that the EC failed to interpret the eligibility of the PKR president to contest the by-election.

"All this is not about the people. It's about his personal agenda to become prime minister", Saiful told Reuters.

Another candidate, Stevie Chan, who has built up a large domestic following on social network Twitter, has also said he was contesting to take a stand against "political entitlement and arrogance".

Anwar has kept up a break-neck campaign, supported by ruling coalition leaders, showcasing the charisma that jumpstarted the Reformasi, or Reform, movement after he was sacked in 1998.

Greeted by supporters at a polling station in the coastal town, Mr Anwar had told an AFP reporter: "I will see you in parliament on Monday".

"I say this with all humility".

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