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Court grants Kedah speaker leave for review of EC decision

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 Oct 2009: The High Court here today granted leave to Kedah State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Dr Abdul Isa Ismail to file for a judicial review of the Election Commission (EC)’s decision to retain Datuk Abu Hassan Sarif as the Kota Siputeh assemblyperson.

Justice Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin held that the judicial review application was not vexatious and there was a serious issue to be tried.

She also ordered Abdul Isa, who was present and represented by counsel Sulaiman Abdullah, to file the application within three days to enable the case to be heard before 17 Nov.

Earlier, Sulaiman asked the court to hear the application before the next state assembly sitting, scheduled for three days beginning 17 Nov.

Sulaiman submitted today that Abu Hassan had failed to attend two consecutive meetings of the Kedah State Legislative Assembly on 19 April and 9 Aug this year.

“Article 51 of the Kedah State Constitution provides that if any member of the state legislative assembly is absent from the assembly without leave of the speaker for two consecutive meetings, his seat shall become vacant.

Prima facie, Article 51 in this case seems to be satisfied,” he said.

Abdul Isa filed the suit at the High Court (Appeals and Special Powers Division) registry on 1 Oct, naming Abu Hassan of the Barisan Nasional and the EC as the respondents.

He is seeking a declaration that Abu Hassan is no longer the assemblyperson for the Kota Siputeh seat following his failure to attend two consecutive sittings of the state assembly, and an injunction to stop him from carrying out his duties as a state assemblyperson.   

He also wants the court to declare the seat vacant and order the EC to call for a by-election, besides seeking damages, costs and other reliefs.

On 1 Sept, the EC decided that there was no vacancy in the Kota Siputeh seat and that Abu Hassan was still the assemblyperson.   

The case will be mentioned on 6 Nov. Senior federal counsel Suzana Atan appeared for the EC, while Abu Hassan was not represented. — Bernama

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One Response to “Court grants Kedah speaker leave for review of EC decision”

  1. Nicholas.C says:

    In the first place, by what authority does the Election Commission get to decide on who is an MP and who isn’t? Isn’t this power vested in the assembly and the EC is simply its servant?


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