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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Political parties have no monopoly over seats, says law expert

Once the legislature is dissolved, the mandate is returned to voters to elect their representative, making them the kingmakers, says law expert Abdul Aziz Bari.
aziz-bariPETALING JAYA: No parliamentary or state seat belongs to any political party but is instead loaned to them by voters, law expert Abdul Aziz Bari said.
He said once the Federal and state legislatures are dissolved, the mandate is returned to the voters who they want to elect to represent them.
Aziz said voters were the kingmakers who elected their wakil rakyat and their government and that was why they would be actively wooed during the campaign period.
“So it is legally and constitutionally wrong to say seats belong to political parties although they may be politically correct,” he said.
Aziz said this in response PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man who last week warned Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) from staking claim to the 73 seats PAS contested in the 13th general election.
Tuan Ibrahim said the Islamist party could forge a working relationship with PPBM but not negotiations on the seats. PAS won only 21 seats in the last election.
PPBM is said to be also vying for Malay majority seats where PAS had contested against Umno.
He said election laws also allowed independents to contest but voters traditionally elected candidates who represented political parties that would form the government.
“The law also discourages crazy people from contesting and that is why the deposit will be taken away when a candidate fails to collect the minimum votes required,” he said.
Aziz said in modern times the main political parties would also present to voters who would be their prime minister/menteri besar /chief minister and submit their economic and social policies. -FMT

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