DAP to hold re-election ‘under protest’

DAP-ROSPUTRAJAYA: DAP says it is prepared to hold a re-election for its central executive committee (CEC) as directed by the Registrar of Societies (RoS), but that it will be held “under protest”.

DAP vice-chairman Teresa Kok said this was in view of the fact that the directive was given to them during a period in which the 14th general election could be called at any time.

“We will hold a re-election for the CEC at a special congress as stipulated in our party’s constitution.

“We will also appoint PKF Consulting, an independent auditor, to monitor the election,” she said after handing over a letter to the RoS today.

Also present were several DAP leaders including national organising secretary Anthony Loke, youth chief Teo Kok Seong, Sabah DAP chairman Stephen Wong and assemblymen Eddie Ng and Ng Sze Han.

Kok’s announcement today came two days after the party’s secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the RoS order was unfounded.

Lim had previously said that DAP would not hold a fresh election as it had already conducted a re-election in 2013 as directed by the RoS.

He also said that the party had informed the RoS of the re-election results, which involved 2,576 qualified delegates and therefore the question of a fresh election did not arise.

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Kok, who is also Seputeh MP, said she was disappointed that the RoS had taken four years to reject the party’s 2013 re-election results.

“The decision, coming after four years and at the time where general elections are around the corner, is unreasonable and unfair to DAP.”

DAP also denied accusations from the RoS that some delegates were denied their right to vote, as well as claims of discrepancy in the number of DAP branch members who can vote for CEC members.

An RoS officer received DAP’s letter on behalf of director-general Razin Abdullah.

Speaking to reporters after submitting the letter, Loke said he hoped the RoS would not take another four years to reply.

“We are ready to meet the RoS. And we have even replied their letter in less than a week.

“The ball is in the RoS’ court now on whether they want to meet us,” he said, adding that without the RoS’ approval of their CEC candidates, DAP cannot hold re-elections.

Loke also said it was ridiculous for the RoS to order the party to hold a re-election using the 2012 delegates’ list.

“Some of them have resigned, been sacked from the party or passed away.

“How can the RoS ask for the re-election using a five-year-old list?” he said.

The registrar body on July 7 issued a press statement saying the appointment of CEC members and those who held key positions in DAP through its 2013 re-election was deemed unlawful.

The RoS said the re-election should be based on the list of delegates entitled to attend and vote in the CEC election on Dec 15, 2012 which involved 2,576 delegates from 865 branches.

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This is because only valid and recognised CEC members can appoint individuals to the main positions, in accordance with the Societies Act 1966 and DAP’s constitution.

The dispute over DAP’s party elections started more than four years ago, three weeks before the 13th general election (GE13) on May 5, 2013.

On April 17 the same year, the RoS sent a letter to Lim saying that it did not recognise DAP’s CEC which had been elected during the 2012 party elections.

Former RoS director-general Abdul Rahman Othman said the non-recognition was due to the alleged dispute surrounding the party polls, and warned that DAP faced the risk of being de-registered.

However, the RoS issued another letter on April 19 stating that the party would be allowed to use its rocket symbol in GE13.

A re-election of the CEC was eventually carried out by DAP on Sept 29, 2013, but the RoS still refuse to recognise it.