ACT News


Mohammad Munir Hussain's historic challenge to ACT election result falters

Rejected election candidate Mohammad Munir Hussain has unsuccessfully tried to abandon his challenge of the ACT election result, a court has heard.

On September 22, 2016, the ACT Electoral Commission barred Mr Hussain, he said wrongly, from standing in the October election because he did not have enough signatures on the form.

Only 19 of Mr Hussain's signatories were enrolled to vote, when the nomination form must be signed by at least 20 voters on the ACT electoral roll in the Gungahlin electorate of Yerrabi.

Among the rejected signatures was that of his wife, Bazlun Bilkis.

He applied to the Court of Disputed Elections to have his candidacy declared valid and the Yerrabi result declared void. It was the first time an ACT election has been challenged in court.

The case was set down for hearing on Tuesday. But the morning was frustrated, first by Mr Hussain arriving 20 minutes late to court and absent his lawyer, and then when it emerged he had wanted to withdraw the proceedings.


ACT electoral laws say someone can't withdraw from an election challenge without their intention first advertised to the public.

Mr Hussain had not advertised the notice publicly. With the attempted withdrawal unsuccessful, Mr Hussain requested the case be put back three months while he had heart surgery.

But Justice John Burns refused, saying he would not put off a case that "seeks to upset the arrangement for governance in the ACT ... on the off-chance your health will improve."

He gave Mr Hussain the opportunity to proceed with the hearing on Tuesday as scheduled, but the barred candidate declined.

Justice Burns told Mr Hussain he now had seven days to file to the court a written application to discontinue the proceedings. He gave Hussain 14 days to advertise with a public notice his intention to discontinue the proceedings.

Lawyers for the ACT Electoral Commission had a separate application on Tuesday to have the case dismissed.

The judge warned Mr Hussain if he did not comply with the timeframe directions, he would allow the commission to go ahead with its application for dismissal.

The matter has been adjourned until April 13.