PUTRAJAYA: Amanah’s candidate for the Jasin parliamentary seat, Khairuddin Abu Hassan, has filed an appeal in the Federal Court following the decision by an election judge to dismiss his petition without hearing the merit of the case.
Khairuddin, who is a member of Pakatan Harapan’s communications and mobilisation bureau, said the appeal was filed before the 14-day deadline after consultation with his lawyers.
“We feel that declaring the Barisan Nasional candidate (Ahmad Hamzah) as the rightful winner based on a preliminary objection must be further tested in the apex court,” he told FMT.
This follows Khairuddin’s statement on Oct 12 after the verdict by election judge Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali that he would not appeal.
Ruzima, in dismissing the petition, said Khairuddin should have filed his petition in the Melaka High Court, not in Kuala Lumpur.
“He failed to adhere to the basic requirement of Article 118 of the Federal Constitution,” the judge said, adding that this alone was sufficient grounds to allow Ahmad to annul the petition.
The provision in the constitution states that challenges to petitions must be presented to the “High Court having jurisdiction where the election was held”.
Ruzima also said the discrepancy in Form 14 after the votes were cast did not affect the integrity of the election.
He said Ahmad could not be faulted for any of the alleged violations of election law or rules by others, including Election Commission (EC) staff.
Khairuddin had filed his petition based on alleged discrepancies in Form 14, where some documents did not have the signature of the returning officer and others had the signatures of the candidate’s agents.
He also claimed that more ballot papers were issued than the number of votes cast.
Ahmad defended the seat with a 219-vote majority in a three-way battle on May 9.
Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Yahya, who lost the Tasek Gelugor parliamentary seat by 81 votes, had also filed an appeal in the apex court.
On Sept 19, however, election judge Hashim Hamzah dismissed the petition on technical grounds, saying Marzuki failed to list the wrongful acts by the three respondents which included the EC.
Marzuki, who is now PPBM secretary-general, was defeated by the Barisan Nasional incumbent Shabudin Yahaya, who polled 18,547 votes.
The PH candidate obtained 18,466 votes while Rizal Hafiz Ruslan of PAS got 14,891.
The Federal Court registry has fixed Nov 28 to hear Marzuki’s appeal, while Khairuddin’s will be heard on Dec 3.
The merit of two other petitions for the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat in Pahang and the Rantau state seat in Negeri Sembilan is still being heard before election judges.