Election petition gets hearing date after EC appoints lawyer

Penang EC chief Md Fuad Mohd Sherif (left) with EC lawyer Sathya Kumardas.

GEORGE TOWN: The High Court will finally hear an election petition filed by Senator Marzuki Yahya on the results of the Tasek Gelugor parliamentary seat next month, following delays by the Election Commission (EC) in finding a counsel.

The EC had previously enjoyed government counsel until the privilege was revoked recently by the Attorney-General’s Chambers to maintain the neutrality of the commission.

Marzuki’s lawyer Mohamad Rafique Rashid Ali said Justice Hashim Hamzah decided in chambers today that the case be set for Aug 15, as the EC had appointed a private lawyer.

Rafique said on that day, the court would hear preliminary objections by both parties – the other party being incumbent Tasek Gelugor MP Shabudin Yahaya.

“There are substantive issues related to the petition and both parties have to settle the objections raised with all respondents,” Rafique said outside the court today.

Rafique and Azlina Mehtab Mohd Ishaq represented Marzuki, while Shabudin was represented by Simon Tan and Cynthia Loo.

The EC was represented by Sathya Kumardas.

Marzuki, who is Penang PPBM chief, lost the Tasek Gelugor parliamentary seat in the recent polls to BN’s Shabudin, who won with a majority of 81 votes.

Marzuki filed an election petition to recount 689 spoilt votes and 297 unreturned (postal) votes.

In the 14th general election, Shabudin garnered 18,547 votes, while Marzuki received 18,466 and PAS’ Rizal Hafiz Ruslan received 14,891 votes.