Former Malaysian veteran leader Mahathir Mohamad has been named as the prime minister's candidate from the opposition on Sunday while fierce election rivalry threatens to take on the rampaging prime minister Najib Razak and his long-standing coalition.  The ruling allowed the 92-year-old controversial and criticized for ruling with an iron fist during his long reign, reigning as prime minister 15 years after dismissal
But he also agreed to pave the way for imprisoned opposition leaders, Anwar Ibrahim, his former enemy who turned into a political ally, to become prime minister after being released from prison if Anwar is granted a royal pardon.
The rise of Mahathir to the opposition prime minister is the latest sign of the shattering of Malaysia's political situation due to a massive financial scandal destabilize the pem Najib's government.
Mahathir came out of retirement to fight Najib while anger mounted on charges of billions of dollars looted from state investment fund, 1MDB, established by the current prime minister.
Both Najib, whose UMNO organization has led the state in the coalition since independence in 1957, and the investment fund denied wrongdoing.
Elections must be announced before August but rumors have been widely held in the coming months.
The decision to elect Mahathir as prime minister is supported by senior leaders of the 4-party Pact of Hope coalition at their convention in Shah Alam, not far outside Kuala Lumpur, with loud greetings of hundreds of supporters.
"Our main focus is saving our beloved country," said Mahathir, state for 22 years as the leader of UMNO, in his speech. [gp]