High Court allows two voters to challenge Election Commission’s move

KUCHING: The High Court has granted two voters leave to apply for a judicial review to declare the Election Commission’s (EC) delineation exercise in Sarawak null and void.

Judge Datuk Yew Jen Kie made the decision in chambers yesterday after considering submissions from all parties and fixed March 19 for mention.

State PKR vice-chairman See Chee How, who filed the application with Ulu Baram voter Pauls Baya on Jan 28, said the court found that the application was not frivolous.

“The judge found that the matters we raised, such as whether there are sufficient details in the EC’s recommendations, have to be litigated at the hearing at the substantive stage,” he told reporters after the ruling.

He also said the court dismissed the preliminary objections raised by the EC, which included lack of locus standi, lack of jurisdiction by the court and that the application was premature.

Senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan, who represented the Attorney-General’s Chambers, said he would file affidavits to reply to the plaintiffs’ allegations within 14 days.

In their application, See and Pauls are seeking a court declaration that the delineation exercise is null and void as it was not done in compliance with the Federal Constitution’s Thirteenth Schedule.

They alleged that the EC’s proposed recommendations and draft constituency plan were seriously lacking in detailed particulars and that insufficient notice was given to the affected constituencies.

They also want a mandatory order directing the EC to republish a notice of its proposed recommendations in full compliance with the provisions of the Thirteenth Schedule.

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