Thursday, February 12, 2009

Two by-elections may be held simultaneously - Malaysiakini

KUALA TERENGGANU: The Election Commission (EC) has not dismissed the possibility of both the by-elections for Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat in Perak and Bukit Selambau state seat in Kedah, being held simultaneously.

EC Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said a decision was expected on the matter after a special meeting held Friday to discuss and study documents related to the vacancy for both seats.

He added that the Federal Constitution stated that a by-election can only be held once the EC was satisfied that a state assembly seat or Parliamentary seat was lawfully vacant.

”For the Bukit Gantang seat ... since the MP has passed away, it is definitely vacant but Bukit Selambau is a different issue and we need to gather detailed information and documents to make a decision.

”If we can establish that the Bukit Selambau seat is vacant, we will go ahead with the by-election. If the seat is not vacant, then the elected representative will remain,” said Abdul Aziz after handing out certificates to EC staff involved in the Kuala Terengganu by-election here on Wednesday night.

The Bukit Gantang seat fell vacant following the death of PAS MP Roslan Shaharum on Monday, due to a heart attack, while Bukit Selambau state assemblyman V. Arumugam from PKR was said to have tendered his resignation on Sunday.

Abdul Aziz said the EC cannot just accept the Kedah state assembly Speaker’s statement that a vacancy existed for the Bukit Selambau seat and go ahead with a by-election.

”We have to look at the issue from various perspectives and not just make a decision based on assumption or because somebody had asked to do so. The EC will dispense its duties professionally based on the procedures, information and according to the law,” he said. - Bernama

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