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Mar 14, 2008

EC denies Chegu Bard’s claims


SEREMBAN: The Election Commission has rubbished claims by PKR’s Badrul Hisham Shaharin that he was not given a form which verified the tally of every ballot box before the official result for the Rembau parliamentary seat was announced on polling day.

State election chairman Abd Latif Baba said it was ridiculous to suggest that his officers had not provided the Form 14 to Badrul's agents as the commission always gave additional copies to the polling centres.

"His claim that his agent was not given the form does not make sense. Each centre is given six forms and these are then distributed to the contesting parties," said Abd Latif when contacted.

He said additional forms were given to heads of all polling centres.

On Tuesday, Badrul Hisham, who contested against Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin for the Rembau parliamentary seat, alleged that his agents were not given the Form 14 as the commission officers had run out of the forms.

Badrul Hisham, also known as Chegu Bard, said he was also considering filing a petition against the EC.

Khairy won the seat by polling 26,525 votes against Badrul who received 20,779.

On claims by Badrul Hisham that he had initially won the seat by 141 votes, Abd Latif said the former could always file a petition to challenge the result.

However, Abd Latif said this was not possible as the number of votes in Form 14 were only entered in the presence of party agents.

Abd Latif said the commission also no longer conducted recounts at the tallying centres.

Citing an example of the 2004 polls in Permatang Pauh when PKR president Datin Seri Wan Azizah Ismail was only declared a winner after two recounts, he said:

"The number of votes at each polling station are calculated and entered in Form 14.

"These are then sent to the tallying centre where the votes are added up and the results announced," he said.

Abd Latif said there was no recount of the votes as these were already put into envelopes and sealed.

"If the PKR is unhappy with the decision, they can always file a petition. There are procedures and they would have the opportunity to state their case," he said.

Abd Latif said the parties can submit their petitions after the results are gazetted. This, he said, normally took one month.


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