Ambiga dissapointed with court's decision on EC delineation of electoral areas

KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan is disappointed with Federal Court's decision on the delineation of the electoral areas by the Election Commission (EC).

Ambiga, who is also the National Human Rights Society (Hakam) president said that the courts are "not prepared" to hold the EC accountable.

"Its very disappointing because the courts are not prepared to hold the EC accountable.

"Their (court) judgement is basically was that the EC is carrying out a constitutional process and they will not interfere.

"But what we are trying to urge them is that you have to interfere when they acted unconstitutional," Ambiga said during a public forum on Examining Issues Relating to Malapportionment, Gerrymandering and Electoral Fraud.

Ambiga said the judiciary is suppose to be the only platform to stop any abuse on malapportionment, gerrymandering and electoral fraud.

"Only the courts can(uphold rights) and that is the problem that we have, but they did say that their decision was to the facts of that particular case.

"Hopefully we can canvas this arguments in cases such in Selangor or any other cases where facts might be different," Ambiga said.

On Monday, the Federal Court ruled that the EC's proposal to implement the redelineation of parliamentary constituencies and the state assembly seats could not be amended by a judicial review.

Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif, chairing a three-judge panel, said the EC's action on the business of redelineation was not binding on any party, therefore it could not be amended by a judicial review.

Raus was reported to have said this in a decision to reject two applications submitted by two DAP MPs from Perak and seven voters from Malacca to seek the Federal Court's permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision, which did not favour them over a judicial review.

Meanwhile, public forum on Examining Issues Relating to Malapportionment, Gerrymandering and Electoral Fraud is organised by the Constitutional Law Committee and the National Young Lawyers and Pupils Committee.

The objectives of the forum are to provide a platform to critically analyse the legality of the EC delineation proposals, to discuss whether the recent moves by the EC in relation to shifting of voters and postal votes will result in electoral fraud and affect the integrity of GE14; and discuss election offences allegations in the previous General Elections, and what the public, lawyers, political parties and non-governmental organisations can do to prevent any election offences in GE14.

Besides Ambiga, two other speakers at the forum was Penang InstituteConsultant on Constituency Redelineation Dr Wong Chin Huat and Tindak Malaysia Mapping Consultant Danesh Prakash Chacko.