The Port Dickson by-election which will be contested by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his bid to return to Malaysia's parliament will be held on Oct 13, with nomination day set for Sept 29, the country's Election Commission said on Thursday (Sept 20).
The commission also set early voting for Oct 9.
The by-election was called last week after the incumbent, Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah of Mr Anwar's Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) resigned to pave the way for Mr Anwar to become an MP and eventually replace Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Prime Minister.
Dr Mahathir has endorsed Mr Anwar's candidacy for the by-election, saying that it had already been agreed that Mr Anwar, 71, is to be his successor. Aged 93, Dr Mahathir is the oldest elected leader in the world.
The Pakatan Harapan ruling coalition, which includes PKR and Dr Mahathir's Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, had agreed before the May 9 general election that if it wins, Dr Mahathir will be prime minister in the first two years of the term before handing over the reins to Mr Anwar.
But senior PKR leaders and supporters such as prominent lawyer S. Ambiga have accused Mr Anwar of nepotism for failing to consult them on the selection of the coastal town of Port Dickson and not the seats of his wife or his daughter for his return to parliament.
Mr Anwar's wife, Dr Wan Azizah, 65, is currently Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Women and Family Development. She represents the Pandan constituency in Selangor. Mr Anwar's eldest daughter, Nurul Izzah Anwar, is MP of Permatang Pauh in Penang which used to be Mr Anwar's stronghold.
Mr Anwar had served as deputy prime minister from 1993 to 1998 under then Prime Minister Mahathir, and was heir-apparent until his sacking in 1998. PKR was formed after his eventual imprisonment on corruption charges in 1999.
The PH coalition, now led by Tun Dr Mahathir who made his own political comeback, pulled off a stunning victory over long-time ruling coalition Barisan Nasional in the general election and now governs the country.
Mr Anwar himself did not run in the general election as he was serving a five-year jail term for a second sodomy charge which PH leaders said was politically trumped up. He was pardoned by Malaysia's King and released shortly after PH swept to power.