EC hits out at people still questioning Anwar’s eligibility

PORT DICKSON: The Election Commission today hit out at certain quarters that still questioned Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's eligibility to contest in the Port Dickson by-election.

Its chairman, Azhar Azizan Harun (pix), said the commission had clarified the matter repeatedly and if the investigation was to be carried out, it would take a long time.

He said the EC received the nomination paper and letter of pardon by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong from Anwar and accepted them.

“If they are not satisfied, go to the court (and) I'll let the court decide. They should understand that the nomination is only an hour, if we have to investigate, it will take two to three months, or perhaps a year … so, go to the court and ask the judge,” he told reporters after visiting the Polling District Centre (PDM) at Sekolah Kebangsaan Port Dickson here.

He said this in response to a statement by PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan who questioned Anwar's eligibility to contest the Port Dickson parliamentary by-election as the PKR president was not given a free pardon by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Takiyuddin said that PAS did not deny the full pardon granted by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V to Anwar under Article 42 of the Federal Constitution, but that the EC failed to interpret the eligibility of the PKR president to contest the by-election.

Last Sept 28, a voter in Port Dickson, Noraziah Mohd Sharif, 38, filed an originating summons seeking a court declaration that Anwar was no eligible to contest for any parliamentary seat, and on last Oct 8, Anwar filed an application to strike out the suit.

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The by-election was called after its incumbent Member of Parliament Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah, 68, vacated the seat last Sept 12 to allow Anwar, who recently won the PKR presidency, to contest and return to parliament.

Anwar faces a challenge for the seat from six other candidates, namely Lt Col (Rtd) Mohd Nazari Mokhtar of PAS and five independents – former Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad; Anwar's former personal aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan; social media personality Stevie Chan Ken Leong; management consultant Kan Chee Yuen and a former lecturer of a private university, Lau Seck Yan, the only female candidate. — Bernama

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