From Churchill to Mahathir: Political Second Acts

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Malaysia: With his shock victory in Malaysia’s election, Mahathir Mohamad has pulled off a political second act that few expected, joining the select ranks of politicians who have revived their careers.
The 92-year-old former strongman ruled Malaysia with an iron fist for more than two decades before stepping down, but returned to political life to challenge his own former party, snatching a surprise win in Wednesday’s poll. Here are some other political figures who have had second, and even third acts during their careers:
Winston Churchill is revered for leading Britain from the verge of defeat to victory in World War II, but his political career was far from smooth sailing hurchill was forced to resign from government in 1915 after the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, and his eventual return to the cabinet was contentious.
Appointed prime minister in 1940, he won acclaim for his rousing leadership during the war, but suffered a shock defeat in the 1945 election and was forced into the opposition.
In 1951, he won a second term as prime minister, but resigned several years later as his health deteriorated.
The ups and downs of his career have been cited as inspiration by other politicians looking for their own turnarounds.
Shinzo Abe became Japan’s youngest-ever prime minister when he took office in 2006 at the age of 52.
The son of a former foreign minister and grandson of a former prime minister, Abe seemed destined for political office.
But he resigned after just a year, hit by scandals and political disappointment and debilitated by health issues.
In 2012, he made a shock political comeback, returning to office on a pledge to revive Japan’s economy with his signature “Abenomics” programme.
He has said he was encouraged to seek a path back to power by reading a biography of Churchill entitled: “Never Despair.”
Billionaire Italian media mogul Silvio Berlusconi is perhaps the perennial political comeback kid, serving as prime minister three times, despite a string of scandals and legal woes.
After a first two-year term, he returned to power in 2001 following a campaign in which he sent a book boasting of his achievements to 15 million Italian homes.