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Court case could have been avoided: Elections Minister

August 25, 2014 2:12 am

Elections Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum believed the Electoral Commission should have sought legal advice from the Solicitor General while going through the submissions made by political parties on candidates.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the law is quite specific that the commission must make a decision on appeals and objections to candidate nominations within three days.

“The Court has observed that the Commission consists of people who are well qualified to make this type of rulings. I mean it is really a pity that the Electoral Commission did not see fit to get an opinion from the Solicitor General who provides independent opinion. But they went overseas to two legal counsels in New Zealand to get an opinion. Whether it was put in context, or whether it was put in a very subjective manner or whether it was put in a manner that did not necessarily give all the facts, we do not know that. "

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Sayed-Khaiyum adds the Electoral Commission could have avoided going to court.

“The reality is this…it’s provided for under the law if the Electoral Commission had given their decision within time, nobody would have questioned it. Everybody would have had to abide by it. That’s how the law is drafted. But the fact is that they gave the decision as the court has observed outside the time and therefore the Supervisor of Election was not bound to follow it because the Supervisor of Elections himself is bound by the law which says that everything needs to be done by a specific time.”

Sayed-Khaiyum says the Electoral Commission erred by not meeting the deadline set by ruling on objections made on candidates by the various political parties.

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