Anwar, once a leading actor in the party that ruled Malaysia for decades, was indicted for sodomy in 2015 after a trial he considered politically motivated
Mahathir had promised to rescue Anwar and eventually, if elected (19659002) ) At a press conference on Friday Mahathir said King Muhammad V had given his consent to a pardon. "It will be a full pardon, which of course means that not only should he be pardoned, he should be released immediately if pardoned," Mahathir told reporters the day after he was sworn in as prime minister. "After that, he will be free to fully participate in politics."
Anwar remains in detention since the sodomy process in 201
Under current law, Anwar's criminal record would ban him from office for five years, but a royal pardon could pave the way for Mahathir, who is 92 years old.
Mahathir was sworn in on Thursday night by the king, Malaysia's constitutional ruler, after a momentous vote involving the scandal-plagued incumbent Najib Razak was beaten by his former mentor in the polls.
Mahathir's victory raised six decades of control by the Barisan Nasional Coalition, which he himself headed from 1981 to 2003 as Malaysian Prime Minister.
Asked on Thursday if he said In a corruption investigation against Najib, Mahathir said the former leader would be subject to the rule of law. The corruption scandal centers around a sovereign wealth fund known as 1 Malaysia Development Berhad, commonly known as 1MDB.
Anwar's wife, Wan Aziza Wan Ismail, supported Mahathir and served as his deputy in the coalition to expel Najib. She was one of the dozens of opposition candidates elected on Wednesday.
Anwar was to be released in June after serving most of the sentence – but without a pardon, he is disqualified from the election or the office.
Mahathir and Anwar resigned a long rivalry to fight together defeating Najib and his United Malay National Organization (UMNO) party, which forms the largest component in the Barisan Nasional Coalition.
Anwar succeeded Prime Minister Mahathir until 1998, when he was dismissed and char with corruption and sodomy. He spent six years in prison after being convicted of allegations of corruption in 1999 and in 2000 for sodomy allegations against his wife's former driver.
Malaysia's highest court overturned the sodomy condemnation and ordered him to be released from prison in 2004 was never overturned and prevented him from running for political office until 2008.
The investigators arrested Anwar again in July 2008 for allegations that he had maltreated his former advisor, Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
The arrest came four months after a loose coalition of opposition parties under Anwar, which won 82 out of 222 parliamentary seats in elections.
CNN's Carly Walsh, Euan McKirdy, Marc Lourdes, and Ushar Daniele contributed to this report.