Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah will consult her lawyers whether to pursue an appeal against the Election Commission (EC) for its alleged failure to follow the laws in carrying out the redelineation exercise.
“We will discuss with our counsel on the implication of discontinuing with the appeal over the next few days,” Maria told FMT.
The Court of Appeal has fixed Maria’s appeal to be heard before a special panel on Feb 13.
On the same day, the same bench will hear the attorney-general’s (AG) appeal against a High Court ruling allowing leave for judicial review filed by Nurul Izzah Anwar and 10 voters to quash the EC’s proposal to redraw the Lembah Pantai parliamentary seat.
Nurul, who is also PKR election director, yesterday questioned the speed with which the administrator of the Court of Appeal had moved to fix a date to hear the AG’s appeal.
FMT understands that any decision by Nurul and Maria to drop their cases would be aimed at not scuttling a similar suit filed by the Selangor government against the EC.
The merit of Selangor’s judicial review is currently being heard in the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Maria, who filed the suit in her capacity as a Petaling Jaya Utara voter last October, wanted the court to declare the EC’s redelineation exercise in the peninsula null and void.
This is because the EC refused to provide information on land mass in each of the parliamentary and state constituencies in the peninsula.
However, a month later judge Azizul Azmi Adnan threw out Maria’s bid to challenge the EC’s proposed redelineation as, he said, he was bound by a Court of Appeal ruling to do so.
The judge said the appellate court had interpreted provisions in the Federal Constitution and that the EC was not required to provide details such as land mass of constituencies before carrying out the proposed delimitation exercise.
On Sept 15, the EC advertised a notice in major newspapers about the redrawing of electoral boundaries for the peninsula and Sabah.
Currently, the EC is conducting an inquiry to prepare its report to be submitted to parliament, which must be done within 24 months.
Since then, five aggrieved parties have taken the EC and its chairman Mohd Hashim Abdullah to court, the most notable being the Selangor government.
Yesterday, the EC and Hashim were slapped with yet another legal action by voters, this time for being denied the right to be represented by lawyers during local inquiries.
Source : V Anbalagan @ FMT Online