Though not without precedent, today's Court of Appeal was presided by a sole judge, Ramly Mohd Ali, sitting as a one-man panel. He ordered a stay of execution in favour of Zambry.
But what does the 'stay of execution' order mean when the Court did not fix the date for hearing of Zambry's appeal over yesterday's High Court ruling, plunging Perak into further constitutional limbo?
Or rather, what doesn't the court order mean in terms of implications?
- It doesn't mean that the Court of Appeal has overturned the High Court's ruling yesterday that Nizar is, and was, the rightful MB at all material time.
- It doesn't mean that Nizar has exhausted his options, including his right to appeal to a three-man bench of the Court of Appeal to set aside this court’s stay order.
- It doesn't mean that the Sultan cannot consent to Nizar's request to dissolve the state assembly to call for fresh state-wide election.
- It doesn't mean that the decision of the Court of Appeal is final recourse for Nizar and/or Zambry. The Federal Court awaits.
I had explained about some of the legal innuendos in the 4.30pm blog entry yesterday.
On the other hand, the decision made by the Court of Appeal may create another miscarriage of natural justice:
- The stay order will allow the “person found by the High Court to be the usurper" of authority to continue his office.
- The stay order will enable Zambry to initiate a motion of no-confidence against Nizar and the court can later say the case is academic as Nizar is no longer mentri besar.
That's why it's so important for the Sultan to accede to the wishes of the rakyat to dissolve the state assembly and to let both Nizar and Zambry to have the equal opportunity to obtain fresh, convincing mandate from the People.
Today, even the lame Suhakam has made the same public appeal -- Let the People, not the court, to make the final decision.Meanwhile, Nizar and his Exco members have respected the decision of the Court of Appeal and vacated the office they had reclaimed for a short 19-hour period, or 7 hours to be officially exact.