anwar ibrahim amanpour
Anwar Ibrahim: 'Exhilarating' to be free
11:38 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim won a parliamentary seat Saturday, returning to politics just months after receiving a royal pardon for sodomy.

According to state news agency Bernama, 71-year-old Anwar won a special by-election in the town of Port Dickinson. He’ll be sworn into office on Monday.

His victory means Anwar, once a voice of reform in Malaysia and former Deputy Prime Minister, is one step away from succeeding Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Bernama reported.

The seat Anwar won was up for grabs after the incumbent, 68-year-old Danyal Balagopal, vacated the seat on September 12 so Anwar could make his return to parliament, Bernama reported.

Anwar was jailed on a sodomy conviction in 2015 and received a pardon from Malaysia’s king in May. He had been slated to serve 5 years in prison on the sodomy charges, which he said were politically motivated.

Anwar Ibrahim greets supporters after his release from the Cheras Hospital Rehabilitation in Kuala Lumpur on May 16, 2018.

After his early release, it was believed Anwar was “impatient” to jump back into politics, Meredith Weiss, professor of Political Science at the State University of New York at Albany, said at the time.

Mahatir, the nonagenarian prime minister, has pledged to hand over power within two years.

CNN’s Euan McKirdy and Larry Register contributed to this report.