PETALING JAYA: A Sarawak PKR member is taking the party to court to challenge a clause in its constitution that states that any member which takes the party to court will have to be automatically stripped of their membership.
Francis Bujang Jelani filed an injunction against PKR assistant secretary-general Datuk Nor Irwan Ahmat Nor, who is also the electoral chief invigilator for PKR division elections, over the disqualification of 12 candidates for the post of the Tanjung Manis PKR division head in Sarikei, Sarawak.
Tanjung Manis would have been the 222nd PKR division, making PKR the only party in Pakatan Harapan to have divisions in all parliamentary constituencies.
Francis is one of the dozen disqualified from contesting the post.
Nor Irwan had disallowed an appeal over the disqualification of the dozen candidates three days before the election on Oct 28, stating that they needed to be of "highest integrity" to do so.
After being served the injunction on Nov 2, the Tanjung Manis PKR division election scheduled for Nov 3 was postponed indefinitely.
In the injunction statement sighted, Francis stated that he believed that under clause 8 of the party constitution, every member had a right to stand as a candidate.
The case will be heard in Kuching on Nov 12.
According to James Lo, the lawyer for Francis Bujang, the injunction was to restrain the election officer and the assistant secretary general from denying the candidates' right to stand.
"If the defendants had complied with the order, the election would have gone ahead with the wrongly disqualified candidates in the running
"The plaintiff wanted the election to go ahead, with all candidates restored as per the court order, but the defendants themselves chose to postpone the election," said Lo.
Another lawyer who declined to be named, said that the judge allowing the injunction is a sign that the judiciary has overruled the Registrar of Societies, which allowed such a clause.
A source stated that of the 12 disqualified, Datuk Seri Abang Aditajaya Abang Alwi was the most popular and would have won hands down.
"At the PKR political bureau meeting last week, there was a heated discussion over the disqualification of Aditajaya and the main reason given by Nor Irwan was that he (Aditajaya) was a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) member.
"He, however, provided a letter from Bersatu stating that he had resigned from the party in September and is no longer a member.
"This was ignored by the political bureau (higher-ups) who insisted he was still a Bersatu member.
"His loyalty to the top leadership was also questioned as he had previously openly expressed his support for PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali," said the source.
Previous cases filed against Umno saw the automatic stripping of membership of party rebels.
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