ELECTION COURT SETS DATES TO HEAR PRELIMINARY OBJECTIONS ON FOUR SEATS IN KL

12 Jul 2013 11:19

KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 (Bernama) -- The Election Court here has set dates to hear preliminary objections by petitioners and respondents over election petitions filed for four parliamentry constituencies in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

Election Judge Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusoff set July 17 to hear the objections for the Setiawangsa seat and July 23 for the Titiwangsa seat.

She also set July 22 for the Batu constituancy followed by July 24 for Lembah Pantai.

Zabariah set the dates after meeting all counsel representing the parties concerned and senior federal counsel for the respective Returning Officers (ROs) of the constituencies and the Election Commission (EC), in her chambers this afternoon.

Counsel Rajesh Kumar Sharma who represented Ibrahim Yaacob, the PKR candidate for Setiawangsa, told reporters that his client had also filed an application for discovery wherein the applicant sought an order from the court to open the ballot boxes and seal them before being sent to a handwriting expert for analysis.

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He said the application under Order 26 of the Election Petition Rules 1954 was supported by two affidavits, whereby the petitioner (Ibrahim) claimed that two witnesses who acted as polling agents had noticed that the pattern and style of the crosses appearing in the ballot papers had some similarities which aroused the possiblity of manipulation in postal voting.

Rajesh said Zabariah would only will deal with Ibrahim's application after the court's decision on the preliminary objections.

Meanwhile, Senior Federal Counsel Alice Loke told reporters that both respondents (the RO and EC) would be raising preliminary objections (POs) for Setiawangsa, Titiwangsa and Lembah Pantai.

She said the POs mostly centered on non-compliance by petitioners as stipulated under Election Petition Rules.

When asked why they were not raising any POs for Batu, Alice said they would deal with the issue if the petition for the constituency goes for trial proper.

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"Petitioners must succeed in their POs and if the election court dismisses them, then that's end of the matter. However, they still can appeal to the Federal Court," explained Alice.

In the case for the Batu constituency, the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Dr Dominic Lau Hoe Chai Lau had filed a petition to challenge the locus standi of PKR candidate Chua Tian Chang.

He claimed that Chua, better known as Tian Chua, was ineligible to contest in the election as he had been fined RM2,000 by the High Court in a case for causing injury to a policeman in 2007.

He further claimed that the returning officer (RO) had failed to reject his (Tian Chua's) nomination papers.

He held that the RO had breached Regulation 7(1)(c) of the Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981.

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Meanwhile, as for Lembah Pantai, a voter Mohamad Sazali claimed that on May 4, PKR's candidate for the seat Nurul Izzah Anwar had disturbed voters in the area by telling them not to vote for the BN candidate, Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin, by allegedly giving false statements which were carried on the Malaysiakini website.

He also claimed that the RO failed to report to the EC that two ballot boxes for Lembah Pantai were damaged, purportedly by a group of PKR supporters who obstructed the vehicle carrying the boxes to the vote tallying centre.

-- BERNAMA

SAN RV HA