GE14: Warisan Sabah Cries Foul Over EC Action On Postal Votes

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By LORETTO PADUA
STATEMENT: Party Warisan Sabah condemns the Election Commission (SPR) for giving short notice of the issuance of Postal Voters which begun on April 30.

SPR has clearly breached the Election (Postal Voting) Regulations, Part III, 6 (1) which states that The Returning Officer (RO) shall give each candidate or his election agent not less than a 24-hour notice, in writing, of the time and place at which he will issue postal ballot papers.

Warisan’s Kiulu representative lodged a police report Wednesday afternoon. The other affected areas will also follow suit to demand investigation be made on SPR.

LORETTO PADUA

Summary of the April 30 incident on Postal Votes: –

1. P171 Sepanggar

Wakil Calon received call from SPR at around 10am to inform him to send the Ejen Mengundi Pos (EMP or Postal Vote Agent) which was take place at 12:30 noon at Wisma Puspa (near the KK Mayor’s Office in Centre Point) without the prior 24 hours notice as required in the Election Law 1958, Part III 6(1).

2. Wakil Calon, Sepanggar PACABA Coordinator and assigned lawyers came to Wisma Puspa and subsequently raised Objection Letter to SPR after SPR explained that the Notice will be produced to the Wakil Calon during the process of Postal votes.

3. The issuance of Postal votes proceed despite our protest at around 2pm. Wakil Calon was allowed to witness the issuance of the ballot paper for Undi Pos.

4. Warisan Petagas was also shocked to received SPR call (at 3pm) asking him to send representative to witness the Issuance of Undi Pos at 7:30pm at the Putatan District Office. Another short notice.

5. Later at 9:24pm, Wakil Calon for Darell Leiking was given a notice for the Issuance of Undi Pos that will take place from 2pm onwards at the Penampang District Council Office. Also without 24 hrs notice.

6. At the same time, Warisan Wakil Calon was asked by Retaining Officer in Sipitang and Beluran, to submit the name list of Polling Agent and Counting Agent immediately. There is no stipulated time or date imposed by SPR in submitting the name base on the Election Law.

At the last GE13, the names were submitted 2-4 days before polling. The names of the PACABA are at risk of being influenced by any party, if submitted earlier.

The question is, why SPR didn’t follow the rules imposed by themselves? Warisan condemns SPR for such unhealthy actions.

On May 2, a few more areas were given short notice – Keningau, Petagas, Papar, Tambunan, Karamunting and Sg Sibuga.

SPR postponed issuance of Postal Ballot paper as the staff had been working continuously from 2am (May 2). The Karamunting candidate’s Representative was told that the ballot box will kept in the lock up but no further information as to which lock up.

• Loretto S. Padua Jr is Parti Warisan Sabah Secretary General