Jailed Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim released

The Pardons Board will only convene to consider Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s possible release on Wednesday PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said today

He must first be elected to parliament, having been stripped of his seat in 2015 when his conviction on charges of sodomising a young male aide was upheld on appeal, sending him to jail.

Two years later, his ascension to deputy prime minister all but anointed him as Malaysia's future leader.

Mahathir, the oldest head of government in the world, has agreed to eventually hand power to Anwar.

"I will play a role in the background even when I step down", he added, however.

Anwar was due to walk free on June 8, but the fast-tracking of his release - via an expected full royal pardon from Malaysia's King Muhammad V of Kelantan, due Wednesday - will allow him to re-enter politics nearly immediately, rather than waiting the five years required by the constitution.

Anwar, 70, was set to be released from jail at the beginning of June, but without the royal pardon he would have faced a five year ban in politics.

He emerged from Cheras rehabilitation hospital here where he was serving his sentence after an operation on his shoulder.

"Seeing him walk free makes me emotional, but the fight is not over", said Ridzuan Ismail, an Anwar supporter at the hospital.

"I expect him to play the same role as the leaders of the other three parties". "Now we need to see him become prime minister".

In his four-decade career, Anwar has changed his political colors with the readiness of a chameleon in an ambitious pursuit of leadership in the multiethnic, Muslim-majority country.

Reuters could not verify the report.

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Anwar is in the People's Justice Party, while Mahathir is in the Malaysian United Indigenous Party, but they are part of the same coalition, Pakatan Harapan (meaning "Pact of Hope").

Sankara Nair, Mr Anwar's lawyer, said the opposition politician had seemed "composed and was quite upbeat, but also quite nervous" as he prepared to leave the the hospital.

Anwar was Mahathir's deputy in the 1990s but fell out with his mentor during the Asian financial crisis.

The 92-year-old former autocrat Mahathir - who headed BN for 22 years until 2003 - came out of retirement to lead a disparate opposition to an unexpected election victory last week amid rising anger over a massive government corruption scandal.

After being freed, Anwar was jailed a second time for sodomy in 2015.

Anwar can not directly join the government anytime soon.

Dr Sundramoorthy said: "Based on the panel review, we felt the case should not have been closed as there was compelling information to say the case could be further investigated".

Senior officials at scandal-plagued state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) withheld information from its board and took some decisions without the board's approval, according to a Malaysian government audit of the fund that was declassified on Tuesday.

Dr Mahathir personally ordered travel restrictions on Mr Najib on Saturday after news spread that the latter was about to fly off to Jakarta for a break.

Najib who lost the elections last week had insisted the fund is a donation from a Saudi royal.

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