PKR denies ballot papers floating outside party polls

(The Malaysian Insider) – PKR has denied prominent social activist Haris Ibrahim’s claims that ballot papers for the on-going party election is available outside the polls for cheating by Azmin Ali’s camp, saying those in the lawyer’s possession are from the previous weekend’s voting.

A total of 68 divisions carried out the party’s first-ever direct polls for the top leadership. Another nine divisions held theirs yesterday, with unofficial results showing Azmin is now leading the pack for the party deputy presidency with 4,146 votes against Datuk Zaid Ibrahim’s 3,402 and Mustafa Kamil Ayub 1,189. 

“The problem is, that is the old ballot. This week’s ballot is a different colour,” a senior PKR official told The Malaysian Insider on condition of anonymity. 

It is understood that party secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution will issue a statement on the matter as soon as possible. He is also due to announce this weekend’s results on Monday. 

Last week, Saifuddin had to clarify errors in results which for some time showed that Zaid, the Federal Territory PKR chief, was in the lead for the tight deputy presidential race. Less than 10 per cent of the members in 68 divisions bothered to cast their votes in last week’s polling. 

In a blog posting titled ‘PKR, and its ballot papers, up for sale’ on Friday, Haris said he was going to meet someone who claimed to have “PKR ballot papers for use in the ongoing party elections” and would pass it to him as evidence of the claim. 

In another posting yesterday, Haris said he met the man who “was very nervous” and who showed him a stack of ballot papers for the post of Deputy Presidency, Vice Presidents and Majlis Pimpinan Pusat (central leadership). 

“The ballot papers for the Deputy Presidency and Vice Presidents were all serialised whilst the one for the MPP were not. He had about 100 copies of the ballot papers in all,” Haris wrote in his The People’s Parliament blog. 

He added the man offered him one of each provided he promised to blank out the serial numbers as he did not want to get any one into trouble. 

“I asked who those people might be. He did not want to reply.I asked him to explain to me how possession of these ballot papers might be used in the elections. 

“He explained that the central election committee returning officer could manipulate the list of members attending at the ongoing elections, where voter turnout is low, adjust it upwards and stuff additional ballot papers into the ballot box. 

“Worse, it seems that at some elections, there is not even an attendance list to reflect the number of members attending to vote. This makes it even easier to stuff additional ballot papers into the ballot box,” Haris wrote. 

He said the man admitted he was exposing the ballot papers ‘because the leadership he favoured were being cheated, but he also said that he was doing this in the hope that something would be done to stop this cheating and, if nothing was in fact done, he saw no reason to remain with the party any longer’.