PETALING JAYA: In a surprise turn of events, the Election Commission (EC) and the returning officer for the Rantau assembly seat withdrew their preliminary objection and opted to contest an election petition filed by PKR candidate Dr Streram Sinnasamy.
Lawyer Satya Kumaradas, appearing for the EC, and returning officer Amino Agos Suyub informed the election judge Azimah Omar, sitting in the High Court in Seremban, that they had instructions to withdraw the objection.
However, Rantau assemblyman Mohamad Hasan, who won the seat unopposed, raised several objections and Azimah would deliver her ruling on Aug 28.
The judge then fixed seven days for trial from Sept 12 to 14, Sept 27 and 28,and Oct 1 and 2.
Streram filed his action on April 28, claiming the EC denied him the right to contest the Rantau seat in the recent general election.
He wants the election court to declare Mohamad’s victory illegal and a by-election be held.
He said the EC had breached provisions in the Election Offences Act 1954 and regulations when its officers did not order the police to allow him, his proposer and seconder into the nomination centre.
As a result, he said, although he was qualified, he was denied the constitutional right to contest in the election.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, a member of Streram’s legal team, said the EC’s decision was a refresing attitude.
“They abandoned the preliminary objection on technical grounds and will respond to the allegation levelled against them in a trial,” he told FMT.