KUALA LUMPUR: The Election Court here today ruled that Umno’s Ahmad Hamzah should keep the Jasin parliamentary seat which he won in the last general election.
Judge Abu Bakar Jais dismissed the petition of Amanah’s Khairuddin Abu Hassan challenging the three-term MP’s May 9, 2018 victory.
“The court is satisfied that the petitioner (Khairuddin) has failed to prove under the election laws that non-compliance had affected the final results of the election,” he said, in delivering a lengthy judgment in a packed courtroom.
The judge also addressed an objection raised by Ahmad and the Election Commission (EC) prior to the election petition trial.
“They objected to the hearing of the petition on grounds that the trial started more than six months after the petition was filed on May 2018.
“However, the Federal Court remitted the petition back to the High Court in February and in the court’s finding, the petition was completed within the time-frame of six months from the Federal Court’s order,” he said.
The court ordered Khairuddin to pay RM400,000 as costs to Ahmad, the EC and its returning officer.
Ahmad had successfully defended the seat with a 219-vote majority in a three-cornered fight last year.
Ahmad polled 26,650 votes against Khairuddin’s 26,341 votes, while PAS candidate Abd Alim Shapie received 8,860 votes.
Khairuddin filed his petition after May 9, claiming discrepancies in the electoral forms as some of the documents did not have the signature of the returning officer while others had the signatures of the candidate’s agents.
He also claimed that more ballot papers were issued than the number of votes cast.