Anwar Ibrahim, the Malaysian opposition leader, has been unexpectedly cleared of sodomy charges.

Government critics believe the trial was politically motivated to stem the growing popularity of an opposition alliance which Anwar led to unprecedented success in the 2008 general election.

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Many expected a guilty verdict to end the 64-year-old’s political career, as it would have prevented him from contesting in the general election expected to be held this year.

This is the second time Anwar has faced charges for sodomy, a criminal offence in Malaysia. The first time, it was overturned by the country's Federal Court in 2004 after he had served six years in jail for corruption.

With the acquittal boosting the opposition ahead of the polls, 101 East asks what impact will this have on Malaysia’s political landscape?

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Source: Al Jazeera