PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) has filed petitions to challenge the election results in four parliamentary seats and three states seats in Malaysia's May 9 poll.
The seats, which were lost by seven members of PPBM, the party led by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, comprise the four parliamentary seats of Tasek Gelugor, Jempol, Tapah and Bagan Serai, and the state seats of Lubok Merbau and Changkat Jong in Perak, and Kahang in Johor.
"Said petitions were filed by our team of lawyers in each state," said the party's legal bureau secretary Mior Nor Haidir Suhaimi in a statement on Thursday (June 14).
He said the petitions were filed because there were reasons to believe that several fundamental rules relating to fair conduct of the elections were not met and that the Election Commission (EC) failed to ensure a clean and fair voting process.
"(PPBM) hopes to have the decision in favour of all petitioners with the sole objective to ensure that by-elections are held soonest to further strengthen Pakatan Harapan's grip on national and state politics," he said, referring to the ruling coalition to which PPBM belongs.
PPBM lost by slim margins in many of these seats: by 67 votes in Changkat Jong, 81 votes in Tasek Gelugor, 614 votes in Tapah, 729 votes in Lubok Merbau, 1,631 votes in Jempol and 2,861 votes in Kahang.
In Bagan Serai, the winning candidate from Umno, Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali, only won by 172 votes over the candidate from Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS). PPBM trailed the race, losing by 4,233 votes to Dr Noor.
Separately, the tenure of EC chairman Hashim Abdullah has been shortened to July 1, two years ahead of its original end date of August 2020.
"The EC informs that Hashim's tenure as the EC chairman will be shortened, effective July 1," the commission said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
Tan Sri Hashim was appointed EC chairman in Jan 2016 and his term has been marked by controversial decisions that were seen to favour the former ruling coalition Barisan Nasional in the run-up to the May general election.
These included fixing the polling date on a weekday and restricting the printing of Tun Dr Mahathir's picture on campaign materials.
The commission said Malaysia's King has approved Mr Hashim's shortened tenure.
"The EC would like to take this opportunity to thank Hashim for his contributions during his time at the commission," it said.