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PKR may challenge Khairy's Rembau win

Syed Jaymal Zahiid | Mar 11, 08 2:54pm - MalaysiaKini.com
On Saturday night, the initial count for the Rembau parliament constituency in Negri Sembilan showed that PKR had taken the seat by a razor-thin majority of 141 votes.
A recount however saw a complete reversal - Khairy Jamaluddin, son-in-law of premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, won by a staggering difference of 5,000 votes.

For opposition party PKR, this stark gap came in as a shock and consequentially became a solid basis for suspicion.

Rembau’s PKR candidate Badrul Hisham Shaharin is today considering a legal challenge against the result.

Speaking at a press conference held at the Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur today, Badrul (photo) said he was far from satisfied with the final outcome.

In the final results, Khairy bagged 26,525 votes against Badrul's 20,779, with a majority of 5,746.

In the 2004 elections, BN had retained its Rembau stronghold with a whopping 18,656 majority.

Had Badrul won the seat, it would have been considered one of the major upsets in Saturday's elections.

“There were (also) irregularities in the vote counting procedure. The Election Commission (EC) did not issue the ‘Form 14' to us when it was compulsory to do so,” said Badrul, a former teacher and member of PKR supreme council.

Elaborating, Badrul said that Form 14 was an extremely important procedure as the document was one of the many measures that was in place to prevent vote-rigging.

Form 14 contains the number of total voters for a particular polling station and once the vote counting has been finalised, the form will be the official indicator of the number of votes designated for each candidate.

If the form was not issued, the results could not be considered as an official one but most importantly, it gave way for manipulation as the number of votes may be added in favour of a particular candidate.

It is compulsory for the form to be issued from each polling stations to each of the candidates’ polling agents stationed there.

BN’s acts of hooliganism

“We will talk to our lawyers and will consider issuing a petition to challenge the results and call for a re-election,” said Badrul.

One of Badrul supporters then added that the matter of Form 14 not being issued itself was enough to nullify the Rembau election results and they will definitely be looking into the possibility of doing so.

Besides allegations of electoral fraud, Badrul also took a shot at Khairy and BN by claiming that the constituency’s campaigning period was marred with BN hooliganism.

“There were various instances where our posters, banners and supporters were harassed by Khairy’s supporters,” he said, adding that there were more than 20 police reports lodged by him and his supporters as a result of alleged BN aggression.

He also alleged that Khairy’s campaigning cost had exceeded the quota allowed by the EC and also accused the latter of using government machineries like schools to campaign.