EC to wait out appeal period before deciding on Kimanis by-election

Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun.

PUTRAJAYA: The Election Commission (EC) has to wait for a decision of the Election Court to be endorsed or up to 14 days for the appeal period to end before deciding on a by-election for the Kimanis parliamentary seat in Sabah, says its chairman, Azhar Azizan Harun.

The Kota Kinabalu Election Court today declared the victory of former foreign minister Anifah Aman in the Kimanis parliamentary seat in the 14th general election as null and void.

Azhar said the EC would take note of the Kota Kinabalu Election Court’s decision and was prepared to conduct a by-election if necessary.

“As the parties involved have the right to appeal, the by-election will only be held if there is no appeal, or the process of appeal at the Federal Court has been completed,” he said in a statement following the court decision.

Justice Lee Heng Cheong decided that Anifah’s win was null and void after inspection of ballot boxes found elements of manipulation, including additional ballots, which violated election laws.

Under the provisions of the law, the EC has to fill the vacant seat within 60 days from the date it is declared vacant, he said.