Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia's opposition alliance announced on Friday that long-time prime ministerial aspirant, and former deputy premier, Anwar Ibrahim will again try to be Prime Minister whenever parliamentary elections next take place.
Anwar, who had fallen out with the then prime Mahathir Mohamad was subsequently jailed twice on charges of corruption and sodomy, "will lead the 15th general election campaign", according to Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope). However, Anwar and Mahathir had partly patched up relartions but the former is still not favoured enough to be accommodated in the ruling alliance of Mahathir. Mahathir then gave way to the current prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Elections are due only in 2023 but Yassin said last month that a vote will be held "once the pandemic is over", reports dpa news agency.
The parliament stands suspended due to the state of emergency declared in January. Opposition parties on Friday said they "urge" Muhyiddin and the country's king to lift the emergency and allow lawmakers to meet.
The alliance won Malaysia's last vote in 2018 in a shock first-ever opposition victory. Anwar was in jail during the campaign, which was led by Mahthir Mohamad, who came out of retirement in his nineties to challenge then-premier Najib Razak, facing corruption accusations.
Although Anwar at that time was tipped to take over the reins from Mahathir, who also promised the same within two years of win, he went back on his promise which caused turmoil in the ruling coalition.
Mahathir quit as Prime Minister in February 2020 and was succeeded by Home Affairs Minister Muhyiddin, after a week of intrigue and parliamentarians switching sides.
The Anwar-led opposition had won the popular vote in 2013 elections but this did not translate into sufficient seats to topple Najib's government.
Anwar was Finance Minister in the 1990s during Mahathir's first spell as Prime Minister, before a first imprisonment derailed his prospects of taking over from Mahathir.
(With inputs from IANS)