Malaysia's king has agreed to pardon a politician whose case has been hitting national politics for two decades, says new PM Mahathir Mohamad.
Anwar Ibrahim, once considered a potential future leader, was jailed for corruption and sodomy following the overthrow with the government.
But Mr. Mahathir, the prime minister under whom he was first imprisoned, has just won an election with the assurance of his release.
He hinted that he would hand over power to Anwar within a few years.
At a press conference on Friday ̵
"It will be a full pardon, which of course means that not only should he be pardoned, he should be released immediately if he is pardoned, and then free to fully participate in politics."
Anwar's wife, Wan Aziza, said King wanted to grant the pardon as soon as possible and "if the prison warden is satisfied … then [Anwar] may be released in two to three days."
The election victory of Mr. Mahathir, at the head of Pakatan Harapan, ended more than six decades of rule of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
Both he and Anwar used to be in power as Prime Minister and Deputy, as part of the BN. The story of their relationship is one of the extraordinary twists.
Anwar was released in 1998 after a dispute with the coalition leadership and then led large protests against the government of Mahathir. He was arrested a year later for abuse of power.
He was convicted of sodomy in 2000 and received an additional nine-year term.
Although sodomy in conservative Muslim Malaysia is illegal, people are rarely condemned Therefore, his case was widely seen as an attempt by the government to eliminate a political threat.
In 2004, his conviction was overturned, leading the opposition to unprecedented gains in the 2008 and 2013 parliamentary elections – albeit not for victory.  Media playback is not supported on your device
But this acquittal was reversed even a year later – when he prepared for the state election campaign he seemed probably to win – and he was sent back to jail.
In a shockwave of events earlier this year, his former archenemy Mahathir Mohamad announced that he would run again for the top office.
He said he had the corruption allegations pl. fed up with the established Najib Razak, another former ally of Mahathir.
Anwar has remained popular with opposition supporters, and one circumstance that Mahathir was allowed to lead the coalition was that he agreed to a royal pardon.
He agreed and said he wanted to hand over the Prime Minister's post to Anwar within two years
It remains unclear when the pardon will take place, and Mahathir warned his supporters that the process of Anwar's becoming a member again so he could take the lead, "could take a long time". 19659027] Will Mahathir keep his word?
Jonathan Head, Correspondent of the BBC Southeast Asia
Some have compared the twists and turns of Malaysian politics with a Shakespeare conspiracy. Mahathir Mohamad, the autocratic strongman who touched his chosen successor, Anwar Ibrahim, is now allied with him and seeks his release after dropping Najib Razak, another former Mahathir protégé.
During the bitter election, Najib called the alliance for a "coalition of convenience," which he warned would fall apart if they had won.
There are many strong personalities in the victorious coalition who must be reconciled, but none more important than Anwar and Mahathir, who until his conversion to the opposition Anwar still described as morally incapable of leading the country.
Will the famous sneaky Mr. Mahathir keep his word? Everything he says, he suggests. He keeps repeating the promise, asking for forgiveness and standing up for Anwar.
Even with his remarkable fitness, he has to think about his physical limitations at the age of 92. They are in coalition, but with only 13 seats in parliament, Mahathir's new Bersatu party is much smaller than Anwar's Keadilan at 47. The days on which Mr. Mahathir could dictate his terms are probably over.