Mahathir now the world’s oldest leader

By AFP |May 10,2018 - 09:04 PM

Malaysian ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad, 92, said Thursday he expects to be sworn in as prime minister soon, quelling concerns around the succession after his stunning win over the scandal-plagued coalition that has ruled for six decades.

In a huge political upset, Mahathir’s opposition alliance ended the hold on power of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which has governed Malaysia uninterrupted since its birth as an independent country in 1957.

It capped a dramatic political comeback for Mahathir, who previously ruled the country with an iron fist for 22 years and came out of retirement to take on Prime Minister Najib Razak after the leader became embroiled in a massive corruption scandal.

Mahathir was expected to be sworn in at 5 p.m., and will be the world’s oldest leader.

In a volte-face, Mahathir had thrown in his lot with an alliance of opposition parties he crushed while in power, which included jailed opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim — his former nemesis.

Mahathir has pledged to get Anwar, who is due out of jail in June, a royal pardon and eventually pass the premiership to a man who is one of the country’s most charismatic and popular politicians.

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