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Karpal: Pakatan will ban party hopping

 | August 20, 2012

The DAP chairman says one can never justify party hopping because it was a betrayal against the people’s mandate.

GEORGE TOWN: If Pakatan Rakyat were to capture Putrajaya, the DAP would propose to remove the constitutional barrier that bans a resigning parliamentarian or assemblyman from re-contesting for five years.

In its place, said DAP supremo Karpal Singh the party would propose a constitutional amendment to deter party hopping by federal and state lawmakers.

He said the current constitutional barrier was being used by defecting elected representatives to justify their refusal to relinquish their seat when they defect.

“The DAP has always been against party hopping by elected representatives.

“Anyone in DAP favouring party hopping or trying to justify it is mischievous.

“In an event when elected MPs or assemblymen who leave their party to crossover to another party, or stay independent, or been sacked from their party, their seats must automatically fall vacant,” he told a press conference here today.

Article 48(6) of the Federal Constitution and sub-section 6 (5) Schedule Eight respectively stipulate that an MP or state assemblyman who resigned shall be disqualified from contesting as a member of the House of Representatives for a period of five years effective from the date of resignation.

Two-term Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal said one can never justify party hopping because it was a betrayal against the people’s mandate.

He recalled a case law involving Kelantan PAS government in early 1990s which ruled that party hopping was unlawful and unconstitutional since it was against the rights to freedom of association.

Thus, he suggested that a constitutional amendment would be needed to outlaw party hopping among elected representatives without contravening the rights to freedom of association.

He also called on all parties to field clean candidates, who don’t have baggage, in the next general election.

“It will ensure a clean election,” said the DAP national chairman.


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