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Malaysia heads to polls on election day

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Millions of voters in Malaysia are heading to the polls in an election that will see the country’s leader take on his 92-year-old former mentor.

Opposition leader Mahathir Mohamad will face off against PM Najib Razak’s ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

Such an opposition victory would be unprecedented in Malaysia, where BN has ruled for 61 years.

But critics have raised concerns the election will not be free and fair.

Malaysian politics has been dominated since independence by the BN coalition and its major party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).

But this once powerful coalition has seen its popularity decline.

In the last election, in 2013, the opposition made unprecedented gains – winning the popular vote – but failed to win enough seats to form a government.

In a dramatic turn of events, then opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was sentenced to five years jail on sodomy charges, which he claimed were part of a political smear campaign.

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