Anifah ready to challenge court decision on Kimanis

Whether the EC appeals or not, it does not affect Anifah's rights to appeal against the decision.

KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Anifah Aman’s legal team today said it is prepared to file a notice of appeal over the Election Court’s decision on Kimanis parliamentary seat.

This was after Kota Kinabalu Election Court declared Anifah’s victory in Kimanis during the 14th General Election as null and void.

Counsel Tengku Fuad Ahmad said the team is ready and confident about the appeal.

“However, as courtesy, we will wait for the Election Commission (EC)’s move and see whether they too are planning to appeal within this week.

“Under the law, we have 14 days from the date of the decision to file our appeal to the Federal Court,” he said when contacted.

“Whether the EC appeals or not, it does not affect Anifah’s rights to appeal against the decision.

“But the Election Court judge’s ruling directly affects Anifah’s rights and standing as the elected Member for Kimanis,” he said.

On Friday, Election Court Judge Lee Heng Cheong made the ruling after the court found irregularities with regards to the ballot boxes, which had elements of manipulation.

In addition, he said the presence of additional voting papers could also have violated election laws and in turn affected the election outcome.

In SK Mandahan and Bambangan, Lee ruled that failure of the returning officer to provide Form 13 which was empty means there was no document to verify how many ballot papers were issued.

The election petition was filed by Parti Warisan Sabah’s Datuk Karim Bujang, the Sabah based party’s candidate in the May 9 polls, to challenge the outcome of the polls.

Karim filed the petition on June 18 last year at the High Court and named Anifah as the first respondent and the EC as the second respondent.

In the polls, Anifah won the Kimanis parliamentary constituency with a razor thin 156-vote majority.

In the three-cornered fight, Anifah secured 11,942 votes against Karim who garnered 11,786 votes and Parti Harapan’s Jaafar Ismail, who received 1,300 votes.