Tuesday, February 3, 2009

EC: No by-election - Star

Feb 3, 2009 PUTRAJAYA:

The Election Commission decided on Tuesday that Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu were still the assemblymen for Behrang and Changkat Jering respectively and no by-elections would be necessary.

Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof said here that the decision was made because both Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman had written a letter to Perak State Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar claiming their resignations were not valid.

“Copies of the letters have been given to the EC,” he said.

On Monday, Sivakumar had handed over the disputed letters of resignation purportedly from the two men to the state election director Adli Abdullah to seek a by-election for the two constituencies.

“The EC has looked into the matter thoroughly from the various legal aspects and hereby inform that there are doubts over the resignation letters by the incumbent assemblymen for the two seats.

“It is also in view of the fact that both assemblymen have consciously confirmed that both letters are not authorised,” he said.

As such, he said, the Commission could not exercise the power under Article 36 (5) of the Perak State Constitution in determining that there were casual vacancies.

“The commission held a special meeting this morning (Tuesday) with all seven panel members present to discuss whether to declare the seats vacant and after a lengthy discussion decided that the two assemblymen will retain the posts they were elected to during the last general election.

“This is because the second letter from the assemblymen casts doubts on the resignations sent by the same persons and so we cannot declare the seats vacant or call a by-election,” he told a press conference here Tuesday.

Abdul Aziz said that the Commission considered the matter closed after making its decision and would not investigate the authenticity of the resignation letters or seek clarification from the two assemblymen involved as that matter was outside its jurisdiction.

He said the law stated that the commission would decide if a seat was vacant and if there would be a by-election after receiving official notification from the state Speaker and it had done this.

If there were people who were not happy with the decision, they had the right to take up the matter to court and it was up to the court to consider from the legal aspect and make a decision, he added.

He said however objections and denials in cases of casual vacancies were rare since a large majority of such vacancies occurred only when an assemblyman died.

Jamaluddin, 52, is the Perak Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Committee chairman while Mohd Osman, 57, heads the State Tourism and NGO Committee.

They were charged in a Sessions Court on Aug 25 last year with allegedly receiving bribes over the application for a RM180mil housing project in Sri Iskandar in Perak Tengah. Their case comes up for hearing on Feb 10.

Jamaluddin (a former postman turned politician/businessman) and Mohd Osman (a retired Army captain turned politician/businessman) have not been seen in public since Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim crossed over to PKR on Jan 22.

When contacted by MStar Online, Jamaluddin welcomed the EC's decision.

"To me, I accept any decision made by the EC, whether it calls for a by-election or not.

"If we don't abide by the law, who will? he asked.

Late on Monday, when asked about his earlier statement that he would quit PKR and become an independent, Jamaluddin, had said: “Things are quite chaotic at the moment. It will settle down in a few days.”

Mohd Osman, through a representative, lodged a police report at the Shah Alam police headquarters on Monday to state he did not tender his resignation as a state assemblyman.

No comments: