MELAKA, March 6 — The Special Election Court here today dismissed a preliminary objection by Jasin MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah to strike out an election petition filed by Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate for the Jasin parliamentary seat in the 14th general election, Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan.
Judge Datuk Abu Bakar Jais made the decision after dismissing Ahmad’s second preliminary objection, saying that the period to settle the trial of the election petition had passed the six months period from the date the election petition was filed under Section 35A of the Election Offences Act 1954.
Lawyer Muniandy Vestanathan, representing Khairuddin, said the court had made the decision after finding that even though that it had passed the six-month period, the Election Court had the jurisdiction to try the case.
“In this regard, the court set the full trial from March 11 to March 22 for all three respondents,” he told Bernama here.
On February 18, a five-man bench led by Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum returned the election petition filed by Khairuddin to the Election Court for trial.
In October last year, the Election Court dismissed Khairuddin’s petition after allowing a preliminary objection raised by Ahmad, the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the seat.
Khairuddin lost to Ahmad by 219 votes in GE14. Ahmad garnered 26,560 votes while Khairuddin received 26,341 votes and PAS candidate Abd Alim Shapie, 8,860 votes.
Khairuddin, the former Batu Kawan Umno vice-chief, filed the election petition in June last year under Section 34(C) of the Election Offences Act 1954.
He sought a declaration that the result for the Jasin parliamentary seat in GE14 was null and void, claiming that the BN politician was unlawfully elected and that a fresh election should be held.
Lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun represented Ahmad (first respondent), while lawyer Datuk Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin appeared for returning officer Zamrud Yahya (second respondent) and the Election Commission (third respondent). — Bernama