KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyers said today legal action will be taken against Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof if the opposition leader is barred from voting in the Permatang Pauh by-election.
In a legal demand sent to Aziz earlier today, Anwar’s lawyers said that the former Permatang Pauh MP had registered to vote before he was imprisoned and EC’s refusal was a “breach of law”.
“We are further instructed that you had in your capacity as the EC Chairman issued statements to news portal Malaysiakini on 27th and 29th April 2015 which you had denied our client’s right to vote in Permatang Pauh by-election on May 7,” the letter wrote.
“We are now instructed to demand that unless you confirm to us in writing that our client is entitled to vote in the by-election on May 7th and that he will be allowed to do so by the EC, within 24 hours hereof, we have instructions to file legal proceedings to compel you to do so without further reference to you.”
In a statement, Anwar’s lawyer N Surendran said Aziz cannot disregard Anwar’s right to vote, citing Article 119(3)(a) and 119(4)(b) of the Federal Constitution.
The two laws stated that a person can be disqualified from voting if he or she is jailed at the time of registration.
This week, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was quoted by Bernama as saying that in the EC laws, any unsound mind or prisoners cannot vote.
“According to EC laws, there are a number of conditions including age limits and categories of people who are not allowed to vote, among them those who are insane and prisoners.
“I’ve have checked and found that no prisoners have been allowed to vote. This is not what I am saying, it’s the law which is saying it,” he said in the national news agency’s report.
The Permatang Pauh seat fell vacant after Anwar was jailed for his second sodomy conviction on February 10.