Friday, June 20, 2008

Vote won’t be on Monday

The Star : Thursday June 19, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: The no-confidence vote against Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi cannot be tabled on Monday because it has to be done in accordance with the Standing Orders of the Dewan Rakyat, said Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, who is in charge of Parliament, said that under Standing Orders Rule 27, a notice for any motion had to be given in writing 14 days in advance.

“So far, no such notice has been given,” he said yesterday.

Alternatively, Nazri said, the vote could be tabled through an emergency motion under Standing Orders Rule 18(1). In such a case, he said, it requires only a day’s notice.

“It would be up to the Speaker to decide whether to allow it or not. If it does not fulfil one of the three criteria, the Speaker can reject it. It is entirely up to him. The Speaker wields a lot of power,” he said.

“In any case, either under Standing Orders 27 or 18(1), the vote of no-confidence cannot happen on Monday,” he said.

After a three-week break, Parliament sits again for two weeks from Monday. This is the second meeting of the 12th Parliament.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and chairman Karpal Singh said it was impossible for a no-confidence motion to be tabled, as the Parliamentary Standing Orders do not have special provision for it.

“A no-confidence motion may be regarded as an ordinary motion under Standing Order 27, which requires 14 days' notice.

“The only way for a no-confidence motion to be tabled and debated on Monday is for the Speaker to treat it as a substantive and extraordinary motion.

“This does not need to comply with the requisite 14-day notice,” Lim said.

“But the Speaker is likely to be at loggerheads with the government and must be prepared to pay the consequences,” he added.

“The Speaker can still allow a vote to be called at his discretion, but will the SAPP have the numbers to get the motion passed?” Karpal Singh said.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia said he was not aware of the motion.

“I will see what they will be filing and decide later,” he said.

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