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EC must hire their own lawyers for election petitions, says AG

Published:  |  Modified:

The Attorney-General's Chambers will not represent the Election Commission in any of the upcoming election petition hearings. 

In view of this, the EC would have to hire their own private lawyers. 

In a statement today, attorney-general Tommy Thomas said the government could not supply lawyers because of the potential for conflict of interest. 

"Members of the government are invariably parties to such election petitions, whether as members of Parliament, state assemblypersons or defeated candidates, it is invidious for chambers to also act for the EC.

"As the neutral arbiter in the conduct of elections, the EC should not be represented by members of this chambers because of any potential conflict of interest and the perception that justice must be seen to be done," he said. 

This is likely the second time that the EC will be required to appoint a private lawyer since the Bukit Bintang election petition.

The election laws allow for any election results to be challenged within 21 days of the results being gazetted. The deadline expired on June 18.

So far, Bersatu has announced that it has filed seven petitions for Tasek Gelugor, Jempol, Tapah, Bagan Serai, Lubok Merbau, Changkat Jong, and Kahang.

Similarly, Parti Warisan Sabah has filed petitions for Kimanis, Sipitang, Keningau, Libaran, Sungai Sibuga, Kundasang, Sook and Kiulu.

PKR and DAP have filed elections for Pensiangan and Ayer Hitam respectively.

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