Anwar challenges voter’s suit on PD by-election

Anwar Ibrahim. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim today sought to nullify the lawsuit by a Port Dickson voter claiming he is not qualified to stand in the by-election and questioning the nature of his royal pardon.

Lawyer J Leela, representing Anwar, said they filed the striking-out application today.

“We said the voter has no legal standing to file the case and the royal pardon issue is non-justiciable,” she said.

She also said Anwar’s legal team had been informed that High Court judge Azizah Nawawi would hear the lawsuit by the voter, Noraziah Mohd Shariff, tomorrow.

“We will see what the court’s position is tomorrow as we only filed our striking-out application today,” she added.

Noraziah filed the lawsuit on Sept 28, a day before nomination day for the Port Dickson by-election.

She sought a court declaration that the Federal Territories Pardons Board, formed to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, had not followed the Federal Constitution.

She also sought 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 Federal Constitution.

She claimed Anwar’s pardon did not qualify him to contest in Port Dickson as the constitution only allows a convicted person to stand as an elected representative after five years.

Anwar was the Permatang Pauh MP when he was sentenced to five years in prison for sodomy. He was given a royal pardon and released after the May 9 general election.

The Port Dickson by-election was triggered by the resignation of Danyal Balagopal Abdullah, who vacated his seat to pave the way for Anwar’s attempt to return to Parliament.

Danyal won the Port Dickson seat with 36,225 votes, beating Barisan Nasional’s VS Mogan who obtained 18,515 votes and PAS’ Mahfuz Roslan who got 6,594 votes.

Anwar is contesting against six other candidates: PAS’ Mohd Nazari Mokhtar, a former air force officer; former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Isa Samad, Stevie Chan, Lau Seck Yan, Kan Chee Yuen and Anwar’s former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who are contesting as independents.

Polling day will be on Oct 13.

PAS has also questioned Anwar’s status to stand in Port Dickson, claiming he is not qualified to stand for public office as he was not given a “free pardon”.