Voter files suit, says Anwar can’t contest despite pardon

PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim.

PETALING JAYA: A voter has filed a declaration that Anwar Ibrahim is not eligible to be elected Port Dickson MP as his royal pardon did not remove his disqualification to contest in the by-election.

Noraziah Mohd Shariff also wants a declaration that the Federal Territories Pardons Board, formed to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, did not follow the Federal Constitution.

She also wants a declaration that the pardon granted to Anwar was null and void as the board was not formed in accordance with Article 42 (5) of the constitution.

Noraziah, who filed the action today through her solicitors, Messrs Raja Reza & Associates, has also filed a certificate of urgency.

She has named Anwar and the board as respondents in her action.

Noraziah said Article 48(1)(e) provides for the disqualification for membership of Parliament if the person has been convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year, or to a fine of not less than RM2,000 and has not received a free pardon.

Anwar was sentenced to five years’ jail in 2015 over a charge of sodomising his aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Noraziah, in her affidavit in support of the action, said she was advised by her lawyer that Anwar was not eligible to contest due to the conviction.

She said although Anwar received a pardon, it did not remove his disqualification to contest in the by-election.

Noraziah said Article 48 (3) only allowed a convicted person to contest again five years after being freed from prison and as such Anwar was disqualified.

She said the board was not fully constituted as the then attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali and Federal Territories minister were not present.

“Apandi was on leave while the Federal Territories minister had yet to be appointed after the general election,” she said.

Lawyer-activist Siti Kasim yesterday said she had received a clarification from Attorney-General Tommy Thomas stating that Anwar is eligible to stand in the by-election.

Thomas explained in a letter to Siti that the Pardons Board advised that a full pardon be considered for the former deputy prime minister. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong then granted Anwar the full pardon, Thomas said.

“Accordingly, by virtue of Article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is not disqualified from standing as a candidate for the forthcoming by-election for the Port Dickson constituency,” the letter read.

The Pakatan Harapan coalition has promised to appoint him as prime minister, and had campaigned for a royal pardon to pave the way for his return to politics.

On May 16, the king granted Anwar a full pardon in his three trials – abuse of power, Sodomy 1 and Sodomy 2 —on the basis that there was a “miscarriage of justice”.

Anwar, who will officially take over as PKR president in November, told a news conference on May 16 that the pardon was also on the basis that there was a conspiracy to condemn him and assassinate his political character.

“The pardon is complete and unconditional. The entire convictions are erased automatically,” he had claimed.