By ASILA JALIL / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
DEWAN Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof (picture) has confirmed that a by-election will be held for the Kimanis parliamentary seat within the next 60 days.
In a statement yesterday, Mohamad Ariff said he had received a letter from the Election Commission (EC) regarding a vacancy of the seat starting today (Dec 10), following the Federal Court’s ruling to uphold the Election Court’s decision last week to nullify Datuk Seri Anifah Aman’s victory in Kimanis during the 14th General Election (GE14).
The Federal Court said there were discrepancies in the conduct of the election process and widespread non-compliance of election laws, which had affected the outcome of the polls.
The other judges on the bench were Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri David Wong, and Federal Court judges Datuk Rohana Yusuf and Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan.
The election petition was filed last year by Parti Warisan Sabah candidate Datuk Karim Bujang.
Anifah, who was Kimanis MP for four terms, obtained 11,942 votes in GE14 against Karim, who garnered 11,768 votes.
Meanwhile, Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate Jaafar Ismail received 1,300 votes.
Anifah appealed to set aside the Election Court ruling, but his appeal was unanimously dismissed on Dec 2 by five-member bench led by Chief Justice Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat.
Following the Federal Court’s ruling last week, Karim said he is ready to contest again for the seat in the upcoming by-election.
Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal has reminded party members and leaders to be prepared for the Kimanis by-election and expressed showed confidence in the party’s ability to get support from voters.
The state-based party has yet to name a candidate for the by-election, as more information on the matter is required.
However, Mohd Shafie said there is a high probability for Warisan to contest in the by-election as it had nominated a candidate for the seat during GE14.
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia in Sabah has also showed interest in contesting for the seat.
The party’s secretary Datuk Seri Dr Donald Kiandee expressed hope that it will be given a chance to contest the seat as it has the second-largest number of MPs in the state after Warisan.