|By Elizabeth Looi, Malaysia Correspondent|
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PUTRAJAYA - THE Court of Appeal on Friday declared Barisan Nasional's Zambry Kadir the rightful menteri besar of Perak state, overturning an earlier High Court decision that had ruled in favour of Pakatan Rakyat's Nizar Jamaluddin.
The unprecedented constitutional crisis began in February when BN ousted the PR state government after three PR assemblymen defected.
Datuk Seri Nizar then launched a suit challenging the legitimacy of Datuk Seri Zambry as menteri besar.
Earlier this month, the Kuala Lumpur High Court declared Mr Nizar as the rightful menteri besar, as no vote of no confidence was tabled against him in the state assembly.
Dr Zambry filed an appeal, and on Thursday, a three-judge panel, comprising Justices Raus Shariff, Zainun Ali and Ahmad Maarop, heard arguments from both parties.
On Friday, they made a unanimous decision to grant Datuk Seri Zambry his appeal against the High Court decision.
The judges also ruled that the Sultan of Perak was right in appointing Dr Zambry as menteri besar and that there was no need for a vote of no confidence against Mr Nizar for him to be removed from the post.
Mr Nizar's lawyers said they will file an appeal against today's decision at the Federal Court.
There was tight security at the Court of Appeal on Friday with only 15 members of the press allowed to enter the packed courtroom.
Following the judgement, there was a stunned silence. Notably, neither Mr Nizar nor Dr Zambry were present in court.