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Constitution discourages unnecessary elections

KUALA LUMPUR, 4 Feb 2009: Although some may want the political drama in Perak to end with either a snap election or by-elections, according to a senior law lecturer, the Federal Constitution does not encourage such action.

Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Bari of International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) said several provisions in the Constitution indicated that unnecessary elections and by-elections should be avoided.

“That’s why even when the government has the right to request for the dissolution of the Dewan Rakyat or state legislative assemblies, it’s for the (Yang di-Pertuan) Agong, sultans or Yang Dipertua Negeri to decide whether to agree to it,” he told Bernama.

Abdul Aziz said that such provisions indicated that unnecessary elections or by-elections should be avoided.

“It means that so long as the government can be formed based on the prevailing composition of the Dewan Rakyat or a state legislative assembly, it should continue to serve its term,” he said.

He said that any move to call either a snap election or by-elections in Perak would be akin to going a step backward.

Yesterday, the Election Commission (EC) ruled that Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu remained as Perak state assemblymen for Behrang and Changkat Jering respectively, as the commission was unable to establish a “casual vacancy.”

EC chairperson Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said the commission found that there was doubt over the vacancy of the two seats after a letter submitted by Perak state legislative assembly speaker V Sivakumar was contradicted by denials from the assemblypersons. 

The Pakatan Rakyat state government cried foul over decision, with state DAP giving the EC 48 hours to review the decision.

In the meantime, Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman declared themselves to be independent assemblypersons amid rumours that they might join Barisan Nasional.

The latest development left the opposition pact with 30 of the 59 state assembly seats while BN has 27. — Bernama

 

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