EC wants Anwar’s suit over redelineation struck out

anwar-ibrahim-ec-malaysia-1PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission (EC) will apply to strike out Anwar Ibrahim and a voter’s legal challenge that their rights have been violated due to malapportionment of constituencies in its boundary-redrawing, or redelineation, exercise.

Senior Federal Counsel Azizan Md Arshad, who appeared for the EC and Putrajaya, said High Court deputy registrar Nabilah Roslan has instructed them to file the legal papers by Jan 9.

“She has fixed another case management on the same day to give directions to both parties on the next course of action,” Azizan told FMT.

The case management was held at the High Court in Alor Setar today as Anwar and Azman Nazaruddin had filed their action there on Nov 22.

Lawyer Nurainie Haziqah, who appeared for Anwar and Azman, said they were curious as to why the respondents were attempting to annul the suit.

“We are saying the EC’s action is in breach of our clients’ rights under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution, which provides for equality to all citizens,” she said.

Anwar, who is currently in jail on a sodomy conviction, and Azman, a voter in the Sungai Petani parliamentary seat, want the High Court to declare that there was a voter disparity when compared with other constituencies in the peninsula.

The opposition leader, in his affidavit in support of the action, said he was a registered voter in the Permatang Pauh seat.

He said there were 80,574 voters in the second quarter of this year compared with 71,699 voters when the 13th general election was conducted on May 5, 2013.

He said the number of voters in Lipis, Gerik, Lenggong, Padang Rengas, Kuala Kangsar, Parit, Bagan Datok, Labis, Sembrong, Pengerang, Padang Terap and Sik was between 35,000 and 50,000 voters.

Similarly, Azman said there were 101,219 voters in his constituency in the second half of this year compared with 93,175 people on the electoral roll during the 13th general election.

Anwar and Azman said these were due to malapportionments arising from unfair delineation of constituencies.

Both said they would provide the number of voters in other federal constituencies to support their claim.