AGC won’t represent EC in election petitions

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Source: Malay Mail

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 — The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) said today it will not represent the Election Commission (EC) or any parties in election petitions to avoid a conflict of interest.

Attorney General (AG) Tommy Thomas told the EC to recruit its own lawyers instead from the Malaysian Bar.

“As a neutral arbiter in the running of elections, SPR should not be represented by officers from the Chambers because there is a possibility of conflict of interest and the perception that justice must be seen to be done,” Thomas said in a statement, using the Malay initials for the EC.

He pointed out that the AGC’s main function was to act as legal adviser to the executive led by the prime minister and to represent the government in criminal and civil court proceedings.

The AG said because the government was normally a party in election petitions, whether among Members of Parliament, state assemblymen, or the losing party, it was not right for the AGC to also represent the EC.

“The EC is meant to be a neutral body between political parties competing against each other for the right to govern for a maximum of five years,” he said.

Ruling parties Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and Parti Warisan Sabah have reportedly filed election petitions to challenge the results in several parliament and state seats in the 14th general election.