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  • Ibrahim was sentenced to serve five years in prison on a sodomy charge, in 2015.

    Ibrahim was sentenced to serve five years in prison on a sodomy charge, in 2015. | Photo: Reuters FILE

Published 16 May 2018

The pardon will remove a five-year political ban, allowing him to pursue elected office.

Malaysian Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was pardoned and released from prison on Wednesday to the cheers of "Long live Anwar," by supporters on motorbikes.

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"He is a symbol of freedom to Malaysians like me," 59-year old Ahmad Samsuddin told the BBC. "Finally. It feels like the tide of change is turning in Malaysia after so many years of injustice. Today is a historic day with Anwar's release and will get even better."

The pardon will remove a five-year political ban, allowing him to pursue elected office.

Ibrahim could now possibly become prime minister following a victory, at last week's national polls, by a coalition of his allies. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad also said that he would step aside to facilitate Ibrahim assuming the role of prime minister within the next two years.

The opposition leader's wife, Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, is set to become the country's deputy prime minister.

Ibrahim was sentenced to serve five years in prison on a sodomy charge, in 2015. The opposition leader has routinely denied the charges and dismiss them as being a part of a political conspiracy.

Prior to being released, the opposition leader was recovering from shoulder surgery at the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital in Kuala Lumpur.

According to officials, Malaysia’s King Sultan Muhammad V will formally inform Ibrahim of the pardon in person when the latter visits the palace.

Ibrahim served as a deputy under Mahathir, who was prime minister from 1981 to 2003.


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