Voting Opens in Malaysia By-Election for PM-in-Waiting Anwar

Anwar Ibrahim, left, stands next to Malaysia Prima Minister Mahathir Mohamad during the 1998 UMNO Annual Meeting in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Vincent Thian / Associated Press
Anwar Ibrahim, left, stands next to Malaysia Prima Minister Mahathir Mohamad during the 1998 UMNO Annual Meeting in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Vincent Thian / Associated Press

PORT DICKSON, Malaysia — Voting has begun in a by-election is expected to see charismatic Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim win a parliamentary seat and prepare for his eventual takeover from Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Anwar is the designated successor to former foe-turned ally Mahathir, after they set aside a bitter political feud and joined hands to win a stunning victory in May’s general elections.

Anwar couldn’t participate in the polls due to a 2015 conviction for sodomy he alleged was politically motivated, but he received a royal pardon days after the polls.

Thousands of voters flocked Saturday to polling stations in the southern coastal town of Port Dickson, where Anwar is vying for a seat along with six other candidates. He is expected to easily win.