Hornbill Unleashed

June 10, 2017

Selangor says ‘shocked’ over rushing of EC court hearing

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Azmin said the case management for the Selangor government's court case was initially fixed for July 6 but was brought forward today without any explanation. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaThe Selangor government today expressed shock over the alleged rushing of court dates for its legal challenge against the Election Commission’s (EC) redelineation exercise.

Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said no reason was given for the courts’ insistence on fixing an early date for the Selangor government’s constitutional challenge of the EC’s redelineation bid.

“We are shocked by the sudden rush and irregular manner with which the dates were fixed today by the registrar of the Court of Appeal for hearing a pending appeal in this action,” he said in a brief statement today.

“As this is a matter of immense public interest touching on the constitutional voting rights of citizens, it is incumbent on the Selangor Government as a litigant to seek an explanation for this puzzling change of circumstances,” he added.

According to Azmin, the case management for the Selangor government’s court case was initially fixed for July 6 but was brought forward today without any explanation.

“Secondly the court registrar insisted on the unreasonably early date of 20 June 2017, in spite of objections from our counsel that the date was not suitable. Our lawyers were told that this was being done on the direct instruction of the Chief Justice,” he said, adding that there were again “no reasons” for the insistence on the “early and unsuitable date”.

Earlier today, polls reform group Bersih 2.0 said the Chief Justice of Malaysia should explain why there was an “extremely unusual” move to allegedly rush two court challenges against the EC’s redelineation exercise.

Bersih 2.0 said lawyers for the two separate court challenges in Selangor and Melaka were today told that hearings will be fixed on June 20, but pointed out there is no reason to rush when the EC has until August 2018 to finalise its redelineation proposal.

The June 20 date fixed today gives the lawyers less than five days to file their written submission and to be at the hearing within a week prior to Hari Raya, Bersih 2.0 said.

The Selangor and Melaka court cases were filed to get the courts to nullify and invalidate the EC’s alleged unconstitutional redelineation bid and the alleged use of defective electoral rolls with missing addresses for voters.

The 14th general election must be held by next year, but there is widespread speculation that it could be called earlier and held this year instead.

Lawyers had last month told Malay Mail Online that the EC will not be able to complete its redelineation exercise in Peninsular Malaysia without holding local inquiries in Selangor and Melaka — a process currently suspended in both states due to the ongoing court cases.

On Tuesday, local paper Oriental Daily reported EC chairman Datuk Mohd Hashim Abdullah as saying that the EC cannot use the new voting boundaries in the 14th general election if Selangor and Melaka are omitted from the redelineation plans.

The EC may have to use the current voting boundaries for constituencies in the upcoming general elections if it is unable to complete its redelineation plans by then, he said.


Source : The Malay Mail Online


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