EC waiting for court notification before deciding on Kimanis by-election dates

Julia Chan
Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun speaks to reporters at Intan Pontian Jubilee Hall in Pontian November 1, 2019, ahead of Nomination Day for the Tanjung Piai by-election. — Bernama pic

KOTA KINABALU, Dec 3 — The Election Commission (EC) here is waiting to receive a notification from court following the Federal Court decision yesterday in order to decide on the dates for the Kimanis by-election.

EC chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun said that they can only hold a meeting once they receive the notification.

“As soon as we receive the notification, we will hold the meeting within four days. We have within four up to 10 days to hold a meeting and decide on the important dates,” he said when speaking to reporters here today.

“The court has to issue the notification to us within 14 days,” he said. 

Following that, the Kimanis by-election must be held within 60 days from the date EC receives the notification from the court.

Azhar also said that they would make the announcement in Putrajaya when the time comes.

Yesterday, the Federal Court upheld the General Election Court’s decision to nullify the victory of former Umno MP Datuk Seri Anifah Aman in the Kimanis Parliamentary seat in the 14th General Election (GE14).

On what he expected from the Kimanis by-election, Azhar said he expected it to be smooth sailing based on his experience with the Sandakan by-election.

“That was very good. The campaigning and the supporters, everyone was very courteous. Not saying that the by-elections in West Malaysia isn’t good but in Sandakan – Sabah – it was better,” he said.

Parti Warisan Sabah candidate Datuk Karim Bujang filed a petition on June 18, 2018, to challenge Anifah’s win.

At the GE14, Anifah, who was Foreign Minister then, won the Kimanis Parliamentary seat with a narrow 156-vote majority. He obtained 11,942 votes in a three-corner fight against Karim (11,786 votes) and Party Harapan Rakyat Sabah’s candidate, Jaafar Ismail (1,300 votes).

Meanwhile, Azhar also said that a joint task force between the EC and the National Registration Department was still operating with the aim of cleaning up the electoral roll from phantom voters and those whose documents or identities were dubious.

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