What happens to the Padang Serai seat after Mr. Karupaiya’s passing?

Has PKR lost its Padang Serai seat? Answer: No.
The election for that constituency has to be postponed. The previous nominations stand. New nominations can be made.

What happens when a candidate dies after nomination, but before the elections?

Has PKR lost the Padang Serai seat? 

[1].   Nomination of M. Karupaiya for the Padang Serai Constituency

On November 5, PKR nominated Mr M. Karupaiya as its candidate under the Pakatan Harapan flag.  He is well known in Padang Serai, and was widely expected to win the seat.

[2].   Mr Karupaiya’s passing on 16 November, 2022

The local dailies reported Mr Karupaiya had passed away sometime in the afternoon. 

Paradox extends our deepest condolences to his family.

[Image attributed to Free Malaysia Today (FMT)]


Mr Karupaiya’s sudden demise has thrown a spanner in the works. 

[3].   Questions abound

[Google Earth Image ]

Has PKR lost its Padang Serai seat?

The answer is: No.

Could another Pakatan Harapan candidate replace Mr Karupaiya’s candidacy?

The answer is: Yes.

[4].   Regulation 11 (6) of the Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981

In situations such as this, Regulation 11 (6) of the Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981 requires the Election Commission (EC) to postpone the election for that constituency.

Under Reg. 11(6), the death of a candidate between being nominated and polling would require the Election Commission to start the process anew:

This is how Reg. 11(6) reads:

“If, after an election has been reported as contested, one of the candidates nominated dies …before the poll has commenced …., the returning officer shall, upon being satisfied of such fact, … inform the Secretary of the Election Commission…”

“…The Election Commission shall countermand the notice for the poll, and shall appoint …. a fresh date for the election and in such case all proceedings with reference to the election shall be commenced afresh, provided that no fresh nomination shall be necessary in the case of a qualified candidate who stood nominated at the time of the countermand of the poll.”

The word ‘shall’ in Reg. 11(6) gives no discretion to the EC. The EC cannot continue with the election in the Padang Serai constituency.   

The EC must postpone the election for the Padang Serai constituency to another suitable date. The elections in the other constituencies can proceed without issue.

[5].   Mr Karupaiya’s candidacy can be substituted by a fresh nomination

We hope this answers your query.

We await the statement from the Election Commission.

[The author wishes to express his gratitude to KN Geetha, JD Prabhkirat, GS Saran, RJ Nevina and JG Gomez.]

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