Allowing only fully-vaccinated to vote in Melaka polls might be unconstitutional and illegal, says Pakatan

PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission's (EC) decision to only allow fully-vaccinated voters to cast their ballot in the upcoming Melaka state election might be unconstitutional and against the law, says the Pakatan Harapan presidential council.

It said the decision may be against Article 119 of the Federal Constitution regarding voter eligibility.

"Although Pakatan fully supports efforts to vaccinate everyone, it cannot be used as an excuse to discriminate against those who aren't fully vaccinated, and this might be illegal in terms of the law.

"We are urging the EC to look into this matter to ensure all citizens who are eligible to vote under the Constitution can come out and cast their ballots, should the Melaka polls go ahead," it said in a statement on Monday (Oct 18).

The statement was jointly issued by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu and Upko president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.

On Monday, the EC said only those who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to vote in the upcoming state election.

The EC also said there will be timeslots given to voters to prevent overcrowding.

The Pakatan presidential council also said state Pakatan chief Adly Zahari will proceed with filing a legal injunction over the dissolution of the state assembly.

"A certificate of urgency was also filed in order to expedite the matter, since the Melaka state assembly dissolution notice was just issued this morning," it said.

The council said it believed the Melaka state assembly was dissolved based on wrong advice.

"We are also of the opinion that Datuk Seri Sulaiman Ali should have not been named 'caretaker' chief minister as he had clearly lost his majority before the state assembly was dissolved," it added.

The council also said it objected to the state election being held at this time as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has only begun to show signs of abating.

"We are worried that if the state election were to proceed, SOPs for campaigns may create an uneven playing field for certain groups.

"Nevertheless, Pakatan will proceed with all preparations including the possibility of facing the Melaka state election," it said.

The state government collapsed after four assemblymen declared they had lost confidence in the leadership of Sulaiman as chief minister.

Governor Tun Mohd Ali Rustam then dissolved the state assembly on Oct 5.

On Monday, the EC announced that the state election will be held on Nov 20, with nomination day set for Nov 8.

Melaka's electoral roll consists of 482,550 regular voters, 10,191 military personnel and their spouses, 2,349 police personnel and 106 absent voters who are overseas.

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