Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Of resignations, the Bar from re-contesting & people's right to choose their reps..

Resignation...revocation of by-elections..

By-elections ....and then no more by-elections

I do not think those 2 ADUN from the Parti Keadilan Rakyat(PKR), even if there was never any intention to jump, will know what to do. It is a mess. A principled person would not hop over to BN.

In any event, we need to look at a few issues...

a) If it exist, is it right for political parties/political coalitions to get and keep pre-signed undated resignation letters from their MP/ADUN? [Of course, when there is an indication that someone is going to jump party - then these letters may get used before the said ADUN/MP makes it public that he is 'jumping'? - this could have been what happened in Perak..maybe]

I believe that this practice is wrong. I believe that the people vote for their 'wakil rakyat' (people's representative) - and it is a person - not a political party...not a political coalition. Of course, the political party he stands under and the political coalition that he is within has a bearing - but that is all.

b) Should a MP/ADUN be permitted to change his political party/political affliations mid-stream? Should he resign, if he does so? Or should he not?

Well, maybe he should resign - and be permitted to re-contest the seat - to get a clear mandate again, thus removing all doubts whether his/her contituents still want him to represent them.

The problem now is that law that bars a MP/ADUN who resigns his seat from re-contesting - and I believe that this bad law should be removed.

Because of the fact that one will be barred from re-contesting, you cannot make them resign and 'betray' the very people who voted for him/her.

It will be also unfair to the constituents - who may in fact be with the ADUN/MP who changed party affiliations or chose to become an independent. The people may still want this person for their rep - and the law that BARS one who resign from re-contesting stands in the way of this freedom of the constituents to re-affirm someone as their chosen rep.

In fact, I believe that even those laws that prevent those convicted and sentenced to contest in elections become/remain MP/ADUN should be removed.

It is the people's choice, and they should be permitted to chose their reps...
"....he has been convicted of an offence by a court of law in the Federation (or, before Malaysia Day, in the territories comprised in the State of Sabah or Sarawak or in Singapore) and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to a fine of not less than two thousand ringgit and has not received a free pardon ..."

And, oh yes, the disqualification is for 5 years beginning time you are released from prison - why? When it comes to fine, it is from the day the fine is imposed (not even paid) - why is also not 5 years from the date you have been sentenced to jail?

In fact, now if while you are MP/ADUN, you get convicted and sentenced - unless you appeal...and appeal you get disqualified ....mmmm... so there will be trials, appeals....and a lot of public money wasted...

In fact, a person declared 'bankrupt' should also be allowed to contest... ...and/or become/remain MP and/or ADUN. Why not?

That law that prevents one who resigns to re-contest, which is also there for MPs should be removed. It will allow elected reps, who change political party membership/affliations the ability to go back to the people to get a fresh mandate - to remove alldoubts that he no longer enjoys the support of the majority of his/her constituents..
(6) A person who resigns his membership of the House of Representatives shall, for a period of five years beginning with the date on which his resignation takes effect, be disqualified from being a member of the House of Representatives. - Art. 48, Federal Constitution
Likewise, the Laws of the Constitution of Perak have a similar provision in Art.31(5)

A period of 5 years can mean sometimes not being able to contest in 2 successive elections...[Wan Azizah would most likely not be able to contest in the next General Elections - and that is not right...]

Pakatan Rakyat states may want to take the lead - and start tabling/making amendment /s to the respective State Constitutions removing all these 'barring re-contesting' provisions...and also the other bars that prevent persons from contesting, especially those with regard to crime, election offences, bankruptcy, etc... Let the people choose who they really want to be their elected reps.

** Maybe we should also consider giving the people the right to get rid of their MP/ADUN - maybe if 10 0r 15 percent of any constituents submit a petition/memorandum to the the Election Commission wanting a by-elctions, then there should be a by-election. Why should only the elected rep have the right to resign? Should not the people also have the right to remove him/her? Consider this...

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