Ber­sih: Set up RCI to look into elec­toral fraud

New Straits Times - - NEWS / NATION - COALI­TION FOR CLEAN AND FAIR ELEC­TIONS (BER­SIH 2.0)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Coali­tion for Clean and Fair Elec­tions (Ber­sih 2.0) says a Royal Com­mis­sion of In­quiry (RCI) should be set up to look into elec­toral fraud and other of­fences dur­ing the 14th Gen­eral Elec­tion (GE14).

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, Ber­sih 2.0 said the RCI must com­plete the task within six months of its in­cep­tion.

The coali­tion also called on the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion’s (EC) six com­mis­sion­ers to ten­der their res­ig­na­tions im­me­di­ately be­cause they had al­legedly failed to up­hold, de­fend and im­ple­ment the demo­cratic right to vote, as well as the prin­ci­ples of clean, free and fair elec­tions.

“EC chair­man Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Ab­dul­lah’s re­tire­ment is not a sack­ing borne out of ac­knowl­edge­ment of the com­mis­sion’s lack of com­pe­tency, in­tegrity and cred­i­bil­ity,” the coali­tion noted. “And, there are six other com­mis­sion­ers in EC.

“There­fore, we call for an RCI to be set up for that pur­pose. An in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the role played by the com­mis­sion­ers in ad­dress­ing these is­sues must also be con­ducted.”

Ber­sih 2.0 said it wel­comed the fact that Hashim’s ten­ure had been short­ened to July 1, but be­lieved it was long over­due as calls for his re­moval had been made since polling day on May 9.

“Nev­er­the­less, as the po­si­tion of EC chair­man is now va­cant, Ber­sih 2.0 views it as an op­por­tu­nity for the gov­ern­ment to show its com­mit­ment to elec­toral re­forms by ap­point­ing a re­for­m­minded per­son with high in­tegrity.”

Ber­sih 2.0 said the new chair­man must carry out re­forms out­lined in its Elec­tion Re­form Ac­tion Plan.

“The prime min­is­ter (Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad) must be open and trans­par­ent in search­ing

... we call for an RCI to be set up for that pur­pose. An in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the role played by the com­mis­sion­ers in ad­dress­ing these is­sues must also be con­ducted.

for the best can­di­date.

“Nom­i­na­tions from civil so­ci­ety and pub­lic mem­bers should be con­sid­ered.”

Ber­sih 2.0 also urged the gov­ern­ment to es­tab­lish an EC nom­i­na­tion com­mit­tee com­pris­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives of gov­ern­ment bod­ies, statu­tory bod­ies and civil so­ci­ety rep­re­sen­ta­tives to re­ceive and screen ap­pli­cants.

“A pub­lic hear­ing should be held for short-listed can­di­dates, in­clud­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for mem­bers of pub­lic to view the can­di­dates’ cur­ricu­lum vi­tae and sub­mit rep­re­sen­ta­tions.

“The com­mit­tee will sub­mit its nom­i­nated can­di­dates to Par­lia­ment for ap­proval af­ter which it will be pre­sented to the Yang diPer­tuan Agong for ap­proval and ap­point­ment.”

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