Second DUN swearing-in may jeopardise other assemblymen

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Henry Gudid
KOTA KINABALU: The second swearing-in of the 19 Assemblymen aligned with Tan Sri Musa Aman may have put the other 39 Assemblymen aligned with Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal into a tight spot and could jeopardise their positions in the Assembly.
According to lawyer Henry Gudid,  the validity of the purported Special Sitting of the Assembly on 11th June was doubtful and otherwise proved that Musa was the lawful Chief Minister and that the second swearing-in was properly done before the Speaker as required under the Sabah Constitution.
“The Sabah Constitution only require the swearing-in to be done before the Speaker and there re is no requirement that the swearing-in must be before HE TYT Yang DiPertua Negeri or in the presence of a Chief Minister, even if there is one,” he said in a statement today.
Unlike the second swearing-in, the first swearing-in of the other 39 Assemblymen in the Special Sitting would face being declared null and void when Musa wins his case and the Court declares him to be the lawful Chief Minister.
“Such a declaration would render Shafie to be the unlawful Chief Minister and all actions taken after his purported appointment would be rendered unlawful and null and void.”
“In such an event, the 31 Assemblymen runs the risk of losing their seats if they do not properly take their oaths as Assemblymen in accordance with the time frame provided in Article 22(2) of the Sabah Constitution.”
“Article 22(2) states that an Assemblyman is required to take his seat, meaning taken his oath, within three months from the date on which the Assembly first sits after their election, or within such further period as the Assembly may allow, failing which his seat shall become vacant.”
It so, by-elections would have to be called for the 39 seats held by the Assemblymen that took their improper oaths on 11th June and further fails to do so properly after three months under Article 22(2).
Given that Musa’s court action is still pending before the Court and the validity of the Special Sitting still to be decided, it would be interesting to sit and watch how events will turn out for the 31 Assemblymen, he said.-pr/BNN