DAP candidates can still contest in GE even if no CEC re-election: Lawyer

PETALING JAYA: DAP candidates can still contest in the upcoming 14th General Election (GE) even if the party does not hold fresh elections for its central executive committee (CEC) as ordered by the Registrar of Societies (RoS).

Lawyer Syahredzan Johan said party members can instead opt to stand under a different party's banner or contest as an independent should RoS maintain its directive for DAP to legitimise its CEC.

He explained that there would also be no legal repercussion should they opt to do so, as there are no existing laws to prevent them.

"For instance, DAP can negotiate an agreement to have their candidates represent PKR in the seats they wish to contest. And if say they get elected into parliament, they can then choose to no longer represent PKR, and 'jump ship' back to DAP.

"It's similar to how some members leave their parties and join others during a single parliament term, like what some former PAS members did when they joined Amanah," he told theSun today.

Syahredzan, however, noted that this possibility would only arise if DAP disregards RoS' order for the CEC re-election and loses in its subsequent court case (if they choose to bring the matter to court).

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had, on Sunday, claimed that DAP candidates would not be allowed to contest in the GE should they fail to hold fresh CEC elections.

He said this was because the party's leadership would not be able to sign the general election nomination papers that would allow their candidates to contest in the GE, if they were not recognised by RoS.

RoS had, on July 7, ruled that DAP's CEC re-election in 2013 was not held in accordance with its requirements and found the appointment of the CEC and the main office-bearers to be invalid.

Commenting further on the issue, Syahredzan said DAP has a good case to challenge RoS' order in court, citing a similar incident just months after the 2013 party CEC re-election.

"RoS had similarly ruled the re-election as invalid then, which led DAP to apply for a judicial review, only for the registrar to subsequently claim that they recognised the elections, and that it was merely an advisory instead of an order.

"What this means is there is no legally-binding order for DAP to hold another re-election. So on what basis is RoS coming up with this statement now? They (DAP) have a really good case," he said.