Court to decide on objections next month

  • Nation
  • Friday, 06 Jun 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: A High Court here will decide on preliminary objections to an election petition against the Setiawangsa parliamentary seat held by the Federal Territories Minister.

Justice Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin fixed July 7 to decide on the matter.

The election petition was filed on April 28 by PKR candidate Ibrahim Yaacob, who stood against Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique in a straight fight in the general election.

Apart from Zulhasnan, the petitioner also named returning officer Zainudin Tala and the Election Commission as respondents in the action.

Ibrahim, 56, claimed there were irregularities in the manner in which postal voting was conducted, arguing that Section 5 of the Election Offences Act 1954 on the maintenance of secrecy at elections had been breached.

He also claimed his complaints about those irregularities to the returning officer as well as the EC went unanswered.

Ibrahim added that if the court were to declare the postal votes in the constituency null and void, he would be the actual winner of the parliamentary seat as he had obtained 15,710 ordinary votes compared to Zulhasnan's 14,098.

The Federal Territories Minister won the seat with a total of 25,489 votes (which includes 11,391 postal votes) against the PKR candidate's 17,355 votes (which includes 1,645 postal votes).

Zulhasnan is seeking to have the petition dismissed on grounds that the petitioner did not validly serve the petition to him and that there was no basis for the allegation that there was a breach of election secrecy.

Both the returning officer and the EC also raised preliminary objections against the petition on various grounds.

They claimed, among others, that the petition was not in accordance with the Election Petition Rules 1954 and that it did not disclose any facts to support the declarations it sought.

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