Malaysia’s leading opposition figure, Anwar Ibrahim, won a crucial key by-election on Tuesday, boosting his attempt to break the government’s lock on power.
Anwar, whose campaign has been overshadowed by charges he sodomised a male aide, captured the Permatang Pauh parliament seat in the northern state of Penang, beating a ruling coalition candidate by a 15,671 vote margin, the Election Commission said.
Anwar polled 31,195 votes against 15,524 for the government candidate.
The vote in his home state of Penang cemented a stunning comeback for Anwar, who was sacked as deputy premier a decade ago and jailed on sodomy and corruption charges widely seen as politically motivated. “We declare victory, the margin is very huge,” said Tian Chua, information chief of Anwar’s Keadilan party which leads a three-member opposition alliance.