Learn about elections in other countries, Zaki tells judges

JAKARTA, July 13 — The Chief Justice of Malaysia, Tun Zaki Tun Azmi, said here Tuesday judges should also learn about the elections in other countries.

“Democracy, that is governing by the people and for the people, can only be achieved through a transparent election.

“But if anyone, in spite of this, feels prejudiced, be it a voter or a candidate, then he has the avenue of filing a petition or complaint to the courts,” Zaki said when presenting a paper entitled “Concept of Electoral Systems in Comparison” at the Conference of Asian Constitutional Court Judges, here.

He was responding to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s statement when opening the conference earlier in the day that a fair and properly regulated and conducted election by secret ballot was essential for democracy to exist.

Zaki told the conference that in Malaysia the filing of a petition was done at the High Court and the case was heard by an election judge appointed from among the High Court judges.

The appeal against the High Court decision on the election petition would go to the Federal Court constituted of three senior judges whose decision was final, he explained.

In comparison, he said, some countries had an election system which was proportionate to the number of voters, and made it mandatory for the citizens to vote.

He said that in Malaysia, the election system followed the first-past-the-post system, based on a single member territorial constituency.

It was also not mandatory to vote in Malaysia, he said, adding that the delineation of the constituencies was done by the Election Commission. — Bernama


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