Full trial for Gua Musang election petition

The petition seeks to declare the election result for Gua Musang null and void, and for a by-election to be called.

(FMT) – The Federal Court has ordered a full trial for an election petition challenging the results of the Gua Musang parliamentary seat in the 15th general election (GE15).

Early this year, an election judge appointed to hear the petition allowed preliminary objections by the respondent on grounds that the Election Offences Act 1954 and its rules were not complied with.

“There are sufficient particulars pleaded in the petition for the merit of the case to be heard,” said Rahman who sat with Justices Hasnah Hashim and Nordin Hassan.

Rahman also ordered the Gua Musang petition to be heard by a new judge and fixed case management on June 26.

Azmi Mahmood, a representative for Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah filed the petition for Gua Musang on an allegation that money was paid out to some voters in return for their votes.

He claimed several boxes of votes from certain voting centres were also not accounted for.

He wanted the election results to be annulled and a fresh election to be held.

On Feb 26, Justice Roslan Abu Bakar sitting in the High Court at Kota Baru allowed the preliminary objection and struck out Azmi’s petition.

Azmi, who filed a challenge to nullify the Gua Musang election results, named Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) Azizi Abu Naim, the EC, and returning officer Ab Fattah Hasbullah as respondents.

Azizi won by a razor-thin majority of 163 after garnering 21,826 votes, defeating Tengku Razaleigh, who had held the seat since 1974.

Decision on Putrajaya seat upheld

Separately, the bench upheld the election judge’s decision to allow a preliminary objection to a challenge against the results of the Putrajaya parliamentary seat.

That preliminary objection allowed PN’s Radzi Jidin to keep his seat.

“There is no merit in the appeal (against the election judge’s decision) as the particulars pleaded by the petitioner lack details,” Rahman said.

The bench also ordered Putrajaya Umno division vice-chief Ahmad Faisal Abdul Karim who had filed the election petition for the constituency to pay Radzi RM30,000 in costs.

Radzi, who is also a Bersatu vice-president, won the seat after defeating four-term Putrajaya MP Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor of BN with a majority of 2,310 votes in a six-cornered fight.

In allowing Radzi’s preliminary objection, Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Justice Faiza Jamaludin had said that the election petition by Faisal lacked facts and particulars to support allegations that a RM150 bribe was paid to voters to ensure Radzi won the seat.

Azmi and Faisal were represented by counsels Hafarizam Harun, Abu Bakar Isa Rahmat, Baharuddin Ariff and Norhazira Abu Hayyan, while Yusfarizal Yussoff Ahmad, Wan Rohimi Wan Daud and Laufti Wang appeared for Azizi and Radzi.