Returning Officer (RO) for N65 Senadin Chai Ko Het’s rejection of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)’s request for a recount after the completion of the official addition of votes at the Centre for the Official Addition of Votes, was in accordance with the law.
Chai was right when he acted in accordance with subregulation 23A (1), subregulation 25 (13) and subregulation 25D (5A) of the Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981 (R81), said Sarawak Election Commission (EC) through a press statement signed by its director Datu Takun Sunggah yesterday.
However the State EC advised that, any party who was still not satisfied with the decision of the RO could file an election petition in the High Court within 21 days of the date of the publication of the result of the election in the Gazette and in this case, the result of Senadin election which is won by Barisan Nasional (BN) Datuk Lee Kim Shin on the night of April 16.
PKR was represented by Michael Teo Yu Keng who lost to Lee of Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) by a slim majority of 58 votes. The State EC stated that counting of votes after the close of poll shall be carried out at the polling station in accordance with subregulation 23A (1) of the R81 and that polling station is defined under Section 2 of the Elections Act 1958 to be meant any room or partition which is also known as “stream” provided by the EC in the polling centre.
Counting of votes is the responsibility of the presiding officer in each polling station where he is stationed. In any case of recount of votes, subregulation 25 (1) of the R81 must be referred to.