Warisan files election petitions to challenge GE14 results

Warisan secretary-general Loretto Padua Jr (second left) with party lawyers outside the court registrar’s office in Kota Kinabalu today.

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) today confirmed that it had filed election petitions to challenge the results of the 14th general election (GE14) in eight constituencies in Sabah.

Warisan secretary-general Loretto Padua Jr said the party would challenge the outcome of the polls in the parliamentary seats of Kimanis, Libaran, Keningau and Sipitang, and the state seats of Sungai Sibuga, Sook, Kundasang and Kiulu.

“The grounds are like what our president said previously – mostly money politics, postal votes and the delay in signing Form 14 to declare the winners of the election,” he said to reporters at court here.

“Those are the only grounds I can disclose for now,” he added.

He said the party would distribute the documents to the media after serving the petitions to the respective parties this week.

Padua, who is not part of the litigation team, said the petitions would be managed by two to three lawyers each.

“I cannot go into merits of the matter, but these eight seats are the ones we are confident about. We are confident with the evidence we have,” he said, adding that today was the last day to file the election petitions.

Yesterday, Warisan president Shafie Apdal said he had given the party’s lawyers the mandate to file election petitions if they found substantial proof of irregularities concerning the seats in question.

The four parliamentary seats were won by Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Anifah Aman (Kimanis), Hafez Musa (Sipitang), Zakaria Edris (Libaran) and Jeffrey Kitingan (Keningau).

The four state seats, meanwhile, were won by former Sabah Umno chief Musa Aman (Sungai Sibuga), PBRS deputy president Alfred Ellron Angin (Sook) and PBS Supreme Council members Joachim Gunsalam (Kundasang) and Joniston Bangkuai (Kiulu).

When asked on talk that BN might also file its own set of petitions, Padua said it was up to the former ruling coalition to do so.

“I cannot answer on behalf of them, but they can file. I don’t know if they will serve the petitions (to the respective respondents) because they have filed before but never served any.”

Sabah PKR Youth chief Raymond Ahuar also filed an election petition to challenge the results of the interior Pensiangan federal seat, which he lost to Arthur Kurup, the son of PBRS president Joseph Kurup.

Raymond Ahuar (middle) outside the Kota Kinabalu court compound today.

Ahuar polled 9,469 votes but lost to Arthur, who won by a majority of 2,314 votes in a five-cornered fight.

Ahuar claimed there had been rampant vote buying before, during and after the election, alleging that the amounts could start at RM50 and reach up to RM1,000.

“To me, winning or losing is not so important. But we need to educate our people that this is wrong – some were not even aware that giving and taking the money is wrong,” he said.

Raymond Ahuar (seventh from right) with his lawyers and supporters, showing the election petition filed at the Kota Kinabalu court today.

He said more than 30 people from his constituency had filed police reports on vote buying, including six who claimed they were involved in distributing the money.

“We will let the police investigate this, but of course this (court process) is another avenue to challenge the results,” Ahuar said.

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