LEGAL DILEMMA [Archives:2001/07/Front Page]

February 12 2001

The Chief Justice of the Capital Secretariat South-West Court Judge Mohammed Mahdi Al-Raymi, on Sunday subpoenaed Chairman of the Supreme Elections Committee (SEC) Alawi Al-Attas to respond to two lawsuits filed by a number of lawyers attempting to nullify local councils elections and the referendum on the constitutional amendments.
A press statement issued Sunday says that lawyers Mohammed Naji Alaw, Abdulaziz As-Samawi, Dr Mohammed Al-Mikhlafi, Ahmed Al-Wadie, Jamaluldin al-Adeemi, Jamal al-Ja’abi, Ismael al-Dailami and others have lodged the first lawsuit against the Supreme Elections Committee’s (SEC) violation of article (11) of the Electoral Law. This article stipulates that the committee should revise and make changes to voters’ registration tables within 30 days, once every two years and again two months ahead of the date of issuing a decision on calling general elections.
The lawsuit refuted the ensuing results of the violation that deprived segments of the people of exercising the right to vote.
The deprivation of a community eligible segment affects the general outcome of electors will, as well as the rights of political parties’ candidates.
The statement maintained that all, including the president of the republic, are aware of this falsity. Tables of voters registration have been the object of many challenges on which binding rules have been issued calling for the complete cancellation of those tables. Moreover there is a proportion of those registered without having the right, repeated and false names and these represent around one fifth of registered voters.
The suitors have also demanded cancellation of the ” Technical Guide” of field committees work that defines balloting and the time program included. They have also demanded forcing the Supreme Committee for Elections to revise and write voters’ tables and registers and amend them, omitting names of the dead and those who are incompetent.
According to the press statement, the suitors have also demanded an immediate stop to measures pertaining to the elections of local councils and the referendum on constitutional amendments scheduled on February 20 until a future date allowing the tables to be corrected.
The second suit pertains to canceling the statement of the elections supreme committee issued on 21 January. The suit stipulates that the statement in question has put the number of those registered in tables of voters as a criterion for defining the size of local councils. And thus neglecting the principle of equal political, economic and social opportunities which the number of population determines. That has led to discrimination in representation of residential areas in a way that would not achieve participation in political life and development. It is to be considered as a violation of articles 40 and 41 of the constitution and article 60 of local authority law and article 25/A of elections law. The lawsuit has demanded stopping the implementation of the statement and abolishing the results it causes.