Asia

Rantau by-election to be held after Malaysian court invalidates Barisan Nasional win

SEREMBAN (BERNAMA) – A by-election will be held for the Rantau state seat in Negri Sembilan.

The Special Election Court on Friday (Nov 16) ruled as null and void the unopposed election of Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan as the assemblyman in the 14th General Election in May.

Judge Azimah Omar handed down the judgment after having heard arguments from the lawyers of the petitioner Dr S. Streram and Mohamed, the first respondent, over 12 days.

The court also heard the testimonies of 19 witnesses.

Azimah said no election rule states that an electoral candidate, proposer and seconder should have a tag or pass to submit the nomination form.

“This was acknowledged by the second and third respondents in their written submissions,” she said.

Streram, who was denied entry to submit his nomination form due to the absence of the tag or pass, had named Mohamad, the former mentri besar of Negri Sembilan, as the first respondent, Rembau parliamentary constituency returning officer Amino Agus Suyub as the second respondent and the Election Commission as the third respondent.

Azimah said that as such, the court allows the petition and rules that Mohamad was not duly elected as the assemblyman for Rantau and that his election is null and void.

Streram, filed a petition on May 23, naming Mohamad of Umno as the first respondent, Election Commission (EC) returning officer Amino Agus as the second respondent, and the EC (the third respondent).

Mohamad won the seat unopposed after Amino allegedly refused to allow Dr Streram into the nomination centre on April 28 because he did not have a valid pass issued by the EC.

In his election petition, the anaesthesiologist sought for a by-election to be held for the Rantau seat as its incumbent had not won the seat legitimately.

The report said that Justice Azimah Omar, who presided over the case, on Friday ruled that there was no written law or requirement for a candidate, his seconder or proposer to have passes to enter the nomination centre.

The ruling means that Malaysia will see its fifth by-election post-GE14 and the fourth contest for a state seat.

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