Monday, 8 September 2008

Kurup's win null and void

This up-date is from HERE

KOTA KINABALU, Mon - The High Court here today declared null and void the election of Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup as the unopposed winner of the Pensiangan parliamentary seat in the March 8 general election.

In delivering the landmark judgment, Justice David Wong Dak Wah ruled that the wrongful rejection of the nomination papers of the petitioner, Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Danny Anthony Andipai, had breached the petitioner’s constitutional right to take part in the election and the written law relating to the conduct of the election.

In his 36-page judgment, Wong said the decision of the deputy director of the Sabah Election Commission to accept Andipai’s nomination papers was final and could not be overruled by the returning officer, Bubudan OT Majalu, under the pretext that there was an objection during the objection period.

The deputy director was exercising a power provided for by law in making the decision, said the judge who also ruled that Bubudan’s decision to uphold the objection was a wrong decision.

“I find certain aspects of the second repondent’s (Bubudan’s) conduct troubling and when taken in its totality, I can only conclude that the decision made was definitely not one which a reasonable tribunal would come to,” he said.

He made the observation when allowing Andipai’s petition to nullify the election result of the Pensiangan seat which Kurup won unopposed on nomination day on Feb 24.
Andipai had named Kurup and Bubudan as respondents. The judgement was to have been delivered on Sept 17 but was brought forward today.

Outlining what happened on nomination day, Wong said Andipai arrived at the nomination centre at the Nabawan District Council Hall at about 9.35am to file his nomination papers for the seat.

After paying the deposit of RM15,000 he waited his turn but when he tried to submit his nomination papers, Bubudan refused to accept them on the ground that he was late in submitting them.

Andipai argued that it was not his fault but that of Bubudan and his staff and having failed to convince Bubudan, he said that he would be lodging a police report.

However, while the discussion was going on, one of the assistant returning officers, Osman Aganduk, sought the advice of the state election commission which gave the directive to accept the nomination papers.

Wong said the directive, which came from the deputy director of the Election Commission of Sabah, was relayed to Bubudan who then accepted Andipai’s nomination papers which were endorsed with the acceptance time of 10.25am.

Objections closed at 11am and at about 1.25pm, Bubudan announced that Kurup was returned unopposed and declared him duly elected on the ground that the nomination papers of Andipai and an independent candidate, Saineh Usau, were delivered after 10am.

, Kurup can file an appeal against the Election Court's decision in the Federal Court. Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said this was allowed for under the law.

"According to the Election Offences Act 1954, he can file an appeal within 14 days from the day the judgement is passed.

"The Federal Court has six months to dispose the case. Until then, it is too early to say whether there will be a by-election for Pensiangan parliamentary seat," he said when contacted by Bernama.

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