|EC: No by-elections in Perak|
|Feb 3, 09 1:01pm|
The Election Commission today announced that by-elections were not necessary for the state seats of Changkat Jering and Behrang as there were doubts over the resignation letters submitted by the elected representatives.
EC said that it received the resignations letters the duo – dated Jan 30 – from the Perak speaker V Sivakumar yesterday.
On the same day, the commission also received letters from the two state representatives disputing that they had resigned.
“There exist doubts over the validity of the resignation letters submitted by the Perak state assembly speaker given the fact that the incumbents for both state constituencies had, with total realisation, submitted letters to discount both the submitted resignation letters as invalid.
“As such, EC decided that it cannot establish that vacancies have occurred.
“Thus it will not be able to call by-elections. The two seats are still held by the two state representatives,” EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf told a packed press conference at the EC headquarters in Putrajaya at 1pm.
The press conference was held after the EC had an emergency meeting to discuss the controversy.
“By this, the EC has decided that it does not have the power to invoke article 36 (5) of the constitution of the state of Perak to establish that there are casual vacancies for both the constituencies.
“Therefore,we have decided that both the seats will remain as the incumbents’ who had won them (legally) in the last general election,” he added.
Speaker declared seats vacant
The controversy over the status of Jamaluddin Mat Radzi (Behrang) and Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering) started when they went missing since Jan 26 amidst strong speculation that they would be defecting to Barisan Nasional.
Sivakumar then announced that he had received resignation letters from the duo on Feb 1 and declared the two seats as vacant.
The next day he submitted an official letter to the Perak EC to inform of the vacancies so that by-elections could be called within 60 days.
After Sivakumar’s announcement on Feb 1, the ‘missing’ Jamaluddin spoke to the media to challenge the validity of his resignation letter.
Yesterday both Jamaluddin and Osman released statements challenging the resignation letters used by Sivakumar to declared their seats vacant.
They insisted that they had not resigned and were still elected representatives for their seats.
They also said that they are still PKR members and had not joined any other party.