KUCHING, Sept 5 — The Election Commission (EC) has the power to decide whether or not a candidate is eligible to stand in an election.
In pointing this out, Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar says it is the discretion of the EC to decide on a candidate’s qualification, adding that not even the Constitution provides for such authority.
“If the EC rejects candidates who are not qualified, then there must be specific reasons why they (the candidates) are rejected.
“I leave it to the EC to decide whether or not a candidate is qualified to stand in an election,” he said during a press conference after handing over the deposit for the purchase of land for Masjid Darul Ehsan at Kampung Sejingkat here yesterday.
Wan Junaidi, who is Santubong MP, was commenting on the recent proposal to tighten the eligibility requirements for candidates to contest in an election, particularly those involved in court hearing on cases of misconduct, malpractice and corruption.
However, he said there had been no proposal to amend the law with regard to the matter.
According to him, at present the EC can reject a candidate who is deemed inappropriate to stand in an election under the existing legal framework.
Adding on, he said the rejected candidate could file an appeal to the court should he or she was not satisfied with the EC’s decision.
On a different angle, however, Wan Junaidi said an MP, who had been found guilty under any law and did not make any appeal to the High Court or the appeal was completed in the Federal Court, would remain an MP until the end of 14 days after being found guilty, adding that there was no pardon by the court.
“This means the Constitution would decide. If the appeal is accepted, he’s still an MP. If the appeal is not accepted, he would be terminated from his service as an MP,” he said.
Meanwhile at the event, Wan Junaidi performed the handing-over of the deposit amounting to RM250,000.
He said the fund, meant to facilitate the acquisition of one acre of land, was from the Sarawak government and approved by Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“We have handed over a 10 per cent deposit to the landowner, and the balance would be given after the (completion of the) stamp duty assessment process,” he said.
Wan Junaidi also said the mosque would be upgraded and rebuilt at a cost of RM2.5 million, of which the funding had been approved by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. — Borneo Post Online