KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 — The Election Commission’s (EC) failure to use the latest available electoral roll for its proposed redrawing of voting boundaries in Selangor has made its entire redelineation bid unconstitutional, the High Court here was told today.
Lawyer Datuk Cyrus Das noted that the Federal Constitution required the EC to use the “current electoral roll” for its proposed redelineation exercise in Selangor, arguing that this would be the most recent record of registered voters in the state.
With the electoral roll updated on a quarterly basis every year, he noted that the EC chose to only use the “principal electoral roll” which ended on the last quarter of 2015, instead of also including the “supplementary electoral roll” of the newly-registered voters for the first quarter of 2016.
This is despite the most updated version — the additional electoral roll of voters that were registered by the end of the first quarter of 2016 — was already gazetted in July 2016, he said.
He pointed out that this list of additional voters was published two months before the EC announced its proposed redelineation exercise for Selangor on September 15, 2016.
“What EC has done is they have used principal electoral roll for the year 2015 for purposes of redrawing boundaries in 2016, ignoring the supplementary electoral roll and so that is the basis on which defeats at first glance the use of the phrase ‘current electoral roll’.
“It’s our submission that therefore the Election Commission has acted ultra vires of the 13th Schedule (of the Federal Constitution),” he said when arguing the EC had acted beyond the boundaries in the Constitution.
In previous court documents, the Selangor government had highlighted the importance of having the accurate total number of voters in order for the EC to make accurate calculations to ensure that constituencies would each have an “approximately equal” number of voters.
Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali had in a court document said that the entire redelineation exercise is “defective as it is not based on the current electoral roll”, pointing out that the EC would have used inaccurate information for its proposal to redraw voting boundaries within Selangor.
Today is the continued hearing of the Selangor state government’s challenge against the EC’s redelineation bid — which among other things includes the renaming of constituencies and the transferring of voters through the redrawing of voting boundaries.
The hearing before High Court judicial commissioner Azizul Azmi Adnan will resume on February 7.