Early checking of Sandakan by-election candidates’ papers

Election Commission chairman Azhar Harun says early checking will avoid setbacks on nomination day.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prospective candidates for the Sandakan parliamentary by-election have been told to complete their nomination forms and check with the returning officer’s office before nomination day on Saturday.

Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun said that the prospective candidates could make preliminary checks at the returning officer’s office either at the Sandakan City Council Office or the Sabah State Election Office.

He said the preliminary check was to ensure that the forms had been completed correctly and met the stipulated conditions and qualifications, and would help avoid problems on nomination day.

“This will ensure that the nomination process is carried out smoothly and within the set time frame. This will also give the parties whose candidates are found ineligible during the preliminary checks to make the necessary preparations for nomination day,” he said.

However, Azhar said nomination papers which had been properly filled and checked should be submitted to the returning officer by the candidate or proposer or seconder at the nomination centre on Saturday.

He also reminded candidates to pay their electoral security deposits (for the by-election and campaign material) earlier as well as to collect passes for themselves, their proposers and supporters to enter the nomination centre.

At the general election last May, Pakatan Harapan’s nominee, Dr S. Streram, was disqualified after he could not gain entry into the Rantau nomination centre for lack of an official pass. He challenged the decision and succeeded in overturning the re-election of Mohamad Hasan to a fourth term. The resulting by-election was won by Mohamad Hasan last week and he took his oath at the state assembly yesterday.

The Sandakan by-election is caused by the death of the MP, Stephen Wong Tien Fatt, the state DAP chairman and Sabah health minister, on March 28.

Nominations will be accepted on April 27, with early voting on May 7 and polling on May 11.