Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Malaysia's political opposition party has chosen former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed to run again in upcoming elections.
Mahathir was chosen on Sunday by Bersatu, a party he founded in 2016 after renouncing his ruling UMNO party. Beratsu is now a member of Pakatan Harapan, an alliance of opposition parties. He stepped down as prime minister after leading Malaysia from 1981 to 2003.
Mahathir is 92 years old.
Nazri Aziz, tourism and culture minister in the administration of Prime Minister Najib Razak, called the nomination "regressive" and compared it to the recent ouster of Zimbabwe's former leader Robert Mugabe, who was 93.
"A country like Zimbabwe can kick out a 93-year-old man. Has Mahathir got leadership qualities now?" Nazri told The Kuala Lumpur Star on Monday.
Under Mahathir's leadership, Malaysia transformed into an economic power in Asia -- but he took a strong stand against those who opposed him. Anwar Ibrahim, his deputy, was fired in 1998 over political differences and jailed for six years after he was convicted on corruption charges.