KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Anifah Aman has instructed his lawyer to file an application to recuse three judges from hearing his Kimanis seat appeal at the Federal Court, following the Election Court’s ruling to nullify his victory in the last General Election.
The former foreign minister cited three reasons for the appeal, including that the three judges had sat in the previous appeal by Parti Warisan Sabah’s candidate Datuk Karim Bujang on Nov 18 last year.
According to him, the situation therefore formed an opinion on the same election petition and would therefore not be neutral.
“(Secondly), the practice and convention is that no Sabah judges will adjudicate on election petitions filed in the state.
“Several grounds of today’s appeal are related to the decision of the previous panel,” he added.
Anifah, a former Umno turned independent politician, also added that the panel that sat on the Nov 18 appeal had also promised to write the grounds of judgement, but until today they had not done so.
He added he would decide on the next course of action after discussing with his supporters.
On Aug 16, the Sabah Election Court declared Anifah’s win in the Kimanis parliamentary seat in the 14th GE null and void.
Election Court judge Lee Heng Cheong made the ruling after finding irregularities with regards to the ballot boxes, which had elements of manipulation.
In addition, Lee said the presence of additional voting papers could also have violated election laws and in turn affected the election outcome.
The petition was filed by Karim to challenge the outcome of the polls.
In GE14, Anifah had won the seat with a 156-vote majority in a three-cornered fight, securing 11,942 votes against Karim, who gained 11,786 votes and Pakatan Harapan’s Jaafar Ismail, who garnered 1,300 votes.