Court order sought to stop polls in view of Covid-19

KOTA KINABALU: A lawyer and two businesswomen have filed for a judicial review to stop the Sabah state election in view of the current Covid-19 threat.

Lawyer Marcel Jude with businesswomen Margret Binsing from Tambunan and Tessa Romana from Penampang are seeking a High Court order to quash Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin’s decision to dissolve the state assembly on July 30.

They are also seeking an order to stop the Election Commission chairman from conducting the Sabah state election unless all movement control orders (MCO) are lifted or provisions are made to allow for the holding of the election under the MCO.

They are also seeking a declaration that the holding of the Sabah state election during the recovery MCO is unlawful as well as null and void.

Jude said they named Juhar as the first respondent and the Election Commission chairman as the second respondent in the suit filed via e-filing with the Kota Kinabalu High Court on Sunday.

The High Court has set Sept 14 for the court to hear their bid, Jude said.

The three are also seeking an Erinford Injunction against both Juhar and the EC chairman until the conclusion of the appeal of former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman in the Federal Court in respect of his claim to be the rightful chief minister of Sabah.

In their court papers, they said the MCO from March 18 was tentatively scheduled to expire on Aug 31.

They argued that Sabah was currently under the threat of the pandemic and therefore this was not the time or place to have the state election as it would bring about people together, creating crowded spaces and confined areas and removing physical distancing on a large scale.

They also claimed that the MCO did not allow for elections to be held.

Elections must be held fairly and people who go to vote must do so in conditions that are safe and without any form of fear or insecurity, they said in their court papers.

Following the dissolution of the assembly on July 30, it is mandatory for the EC to hold the state election within 60 days.

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