Jailed Malaysian reformist Anwar Ibrahim was granted a full pardon on Wednesday and walked free from a hospital in Kuala Lumpur, capping dramatic changes in the Southeast Asian country since the government was ousted in an election upset last week. He and his supporters have said the charges are politically motivated.
But Anwar's wife and deputy prime minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail told reporters later that Anwar was in no hurry to become prime minister.
Once seen as a potential future leader, he had been jailed on charges of sodomy and corruption after falling out with the government.
Having Anwar and ready to return to active politics "brings stability to the transition", and Weiss suggests that Mahathir may stay in place until a corruption investigation into Najib is underway and the reform process touted in his electioneering begins.
During the campaign, Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years in a previous stint from 1981, had promised to step aside and make Anwar prime minister once he was pardoned.
Wearing a white shirt printed with a photograph of Anwar and the words "March 2 Freedom", he said he nevertheless believed Anwar and Mahathir could work together and that the alliance's prospects were good.
She says that Anwar's recent hospitalization might "encourage him to slow down a bit", but he is known to be eager to get back into the fray. The police action followed a complaint lodged by two leaders of the youth wing of Mahathir's political party, Bersatu.The police report of the complaint, reviewed by Reuters, alleges that vans emblazoned with the logo of the department of the prime minister and cabinet delivered boxes for 50 Birkin handbags to Pavilion Residences on Thursday evening.The report alleged that the boxes showed the name of the consignee as Rosmah Mansor.
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Tensions within the ruling coalition, which are likely given differences between Mr Mahathir and Mr Anwar in the past, would raise doubts about the ability of the administration to deliver.
Anwar, Mahathir said, "maybe [will] have a seat in the cabinet" after he is voted into office and have a similar role to other heads of individual opposition parties within the alliance.
"It has never been about our father but doing it because it is right", she said when met at the hospital, where Anwar has been undergoing treatment following surgery. "But Mahathir may be reluctant to hand over to his former nemesis, and if he drags his feet other scenarios could come into play", said Peter Mumford of the Eurasia Group in a research note.
Mahathir was asked in an interview by video link whether a deal could be cut with Najib, who is alleged to have overseen the looting of government investment fund 1MDB.
Despite his firebrand reputation, he later confounded liberal supporters in 1982 by joining the conservative United Malays National Organization (UMNO) led by Mahathir.
Swiss prosecutors said Tuesday they wanted to start talks with investigators in Malaysia as soon as possible to better coordinate various criminal probes into the sprawling case. Mahathir has ordered him barred from leaving the country.
"Just last week nobody would have thought that this posh boarding school boy would be rear ended by his old political headmaster", he said.