Legal issues on GE13 by Shad Saleem Faruqi

Reflecting On The Law by Shad Saleem Faruqi
The Star, March 21, 2013

Delay: Many who had predicted an early general election are exasperated at the “delay” and are critical of it. Constitutionally speaking, there is no delay. The Parliament elected on March 8, 2008 had its first meeting on April 28, 2008.

According to Article 55(3) of the Constitution, Parliament’s life expires five years after its first meeting. The five years will end on April 27.

A full-term parliament is rare but is perfectly legal and politically fairer than a premature, surprise dissolution.

A government that allows the elected assembly to live out its full five years must be commended and not condemned.

In some countries like the UK, the law has moved in the direction of fixed term parliaments. [Read more at The Star]