Why blame us when police responsible for permit ruling for walkabouts? EC asks Opposition

Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
File picture shows Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun (left) and EC deputy chairman Associate Professor Dr Azmi Sharom (second left) during a press conference on the announcement of the Tanjung Piai by-election at the EC Headquarters, Putrajaya ,October 1, 2019. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 — The Opposition had acted in bad faith by blaming the Election Commission for the police’s new ruling requiring permits for walkabouts and door-to-door campaigning for the Tanjung Piai by-election, Datuk Azhar Harun said today.

The EC chairman said he was surprised that “senior politicians” lacked the understanding of the basic legal framework concerning elections.

“The requirement for police permit for all ceramah is stated in the law. It is not within the jurisdiction of the SPR to issue permits or to impose requirements for permits. It is the police’s jurisdiction and power.

“In the case of Tg Piai, the police has decided to impose a new requirement for permits even for walkabouts and house to house visits. The SPR has nothing to do with that requirement and is not able to impose its will on the police,” he said in a statement.

Azhar said that he hoped that politicians do not make baseless allegations against the EC, and that they should check their facts before commenting on an issue.

This comes after the Opposition said today it may take legal action against the EC over the ruling for political parties to obtain police permit for election walkabouts.

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