He's About to Be the Oldest Elected Leader in the World

Mahathir Mohamad, 92, makes a political comeback in Malaysia
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2018 7:30 AM CDT
Mahathir Mohamad during a press conference at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
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(Newser) – "Yes, yes, I am alive" is not the typical comment from the winner in the wake of a national election, but Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad is not your ordinary winner. The 92-year-old is poised to become the world's oldest elected leader, reports the BBC. Mahathir's coalition of opposition parties earned a stunning victory over the ruling Barisan Nasional party, which has been in control since 1957. In fact, Mahathir once belonged to the party himself when he served as prime minster from 1981 to 2003, but he defected over corruption allegations surrounding the party and outgoing Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Mahathir led Malaysia during a stretch when it became known as an "Asian tiger" due to the rapid growth of its economy, but he gained a reputation as an authoritarian ruler who jailed political opponents and trampled over the courts, reports the AP.

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