Anwar will run in PD by-election, says EC chief

Azhar Harun. (Bernama pic)

PORT DICKSON: Election Commission (EC) chairman Azhar Harun today confirmed PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim’s eligibility to contest in the Port Dickson by-election on Oct 13.

“I think this horse has been beaten to death,” he told reporters at the Pusat Latihan Asas Tentera Darat (Pusasda) after visiting the polling centre for early voting.

“We have accepted Anwar’s nomination based on the pardon granted by the Agong.”

He said the EC was aware of the ongoing legal action in the matter but added that it was up to the judges to make a decision.

“I cannot preempt that by telling you what we want to do if the judge decides on way or another.

“As it is, Anwar is a candidate and he is running in the by-election,” he said.

Azhar was responding to questions on PAS’ allegations that Anwar was ineligible to contest in Port Dickson.

On Sunday, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan had repeated the claim, saying the PKR president-elect was only granted a “full pardon”, not a “free pardon”.

The Islamist party is hopeful of a court ruling that the candidate with the second highest number of votes will be the MP if Anwar is disqualified.

It was previously reported that an originating motion had been filed by a registered voter at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, with a decision yet to be made.

Azhar said the motion was being fixed for case management at the Kuala Lumpur court today.

When asked to comment on Anwar’s response to the EC and electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 over election offences including the use of government assets, Azhar said he stood by his statement on Sunday.

“Those issues were not touched on by the EC. Maybe Bersih. We do not have any personal knowledge of that. We have not found it necessary to make statements on those things,” he said.

On the police report filed by independent candidate Stevie Chan against Anwar over election offences, Azhar said Chan’s action was within his rights as a citizen.

Today is early voting day for 7,191 voters in the Port Dickson parliamentary constituency.

Some 6,636 military personnel and their spouses are expected to cast their votes at Pusasda and the Port Dickson Segenting camp multipurpose hall while 555 policemen will vote at the Port Dickson district police headquarters.

The Port Dickson seat was vacated by its MP Danyal Balagopal Abdullah to pave the way for Anwar’s attempt to return to Parliament.

Danyal, a former naval officer, won the seat in the May 9 polls with 36,225 votes, beating Barisan Nasional’s VS Mogan (18,515 votes) and PAS’ Mahfuz Roslan (6,594 votes).