Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Pakatan mulls over recognising Ganesan as speaker

Now that Perak Barisan Nasional has called for the Perak state assembly sitting on March 30, Pakatan Rakyat state assemblypersons are caught between a rock and a hard place.

Although Pakatan now recognises Barisan Nasional as having control of the executive, albeit conditionally, it is still questioning the legitimacy of BN's R Ganesan as speaker.

If Pakatan's assemblypersons were to attend the sitting, it would be giving Ganesn overt recognition.

Ganesan was 'appointed' speaker during the May 7, 2009 sitting although the speaker at the time, V Sivakumar, had not started proceedings.

After his 'appointment', Ganesan then ordered police personnel to forcibly remove Sivakumar from the speaker's chair amidst a fracas on the state legislative assembly floor.

Perak DAP chief Ngeh Khoo Ham said Pakatan would be deliberating their position during a meeting this Friday.

Ngeh was non-committal when asked if Sivakumar would issue a separate notice to all state assemblypersons to attend the sitting, as he had done so before on several occasions.

"Nothing is confirmed. We will decide our strategy during the Friday meeting," he said.

Sivakumar had issued his own notices when BN called for two sittings last year.

Resorting to the courts

This was widely seen as a move to compel Pakatan state assemblypersons to attend the sitting without recognising the BN state government, whose legitimacy was still being arbitrated by the courts at the material time.

Failure to attend two consecutive state legislative assembly sittings can result in automatic removal of the assemblyperson from his seat.

In view of the March 30 sitting, Ngeh said Sivakumar would try to have the High Court hear his suit related to this matter at an earlier date.

Sivakumar has sought leave to challenge the Election Commission for failing to hold by-elections in the three state constituencies of Changkat Jering, Jelapang and Behrang.

At the height of the Perak constitutional crisis last February, Sivakumar declared the three seats vacant but this ruling was later overturned by the courts.

Assemblypersons from the three constituencies crossed over to BN thus triggering the fall of the 10-month-old Pakatan government.

Yesterday, Ganesan issued a notice to all 59 assemblypersons to attend the sitting, which will be officiated either by the Sultan Azlan Shah or Regent Raja Nazrin.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

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