Bersih 2.0: Set up RCI to look into GE14 electoral fraud

Nor Ain Mohamed Radhi

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 statement today, Bersih 2.0 said the RCI must complete its 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 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 the EC. “Therefore, we call for a RCI to be set up for that purpose. An investigation on 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 felt 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 reform by appointing a reform-minded 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 Mahathir Mohamad) must be open and transparent in searching 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 shortlisted 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 di-Pertuan Agong (Sultan Muhammad V) for approval and appointment.”

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