Pakatan to demand immediate reforms by EC tomorrow

By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) representatives in the parliamentary select committee (PSC) for electoral reforms plan to demand that the Election Commission (EC) implement several key Bersih 2.0 demands when it is summoned for a hearing tomorrow.

PKR’s Gombak MP Azmin Ali said demands like the use of indelible ink, the cleaning up of the electoral roll and a 21-day campaign period do not require amendments to current election laws.

“We do not want the PSC to be a toothless panel. There is no need to wait for the PSC to complete its work for six months in order to implement these reforms.

“If the EC is sincere and serious about reforming the election process, it will do the necessary,” he told a press conference in Parliament today, adding that the EC is the panel’s first witness.

The PKR deputy president said PR MPs will also list several demands to the PSC’s remaining members during its meeting this afternoon — to ensure the panel is impartial and firm in its decisions; that the panel obtains a guarantee from the government that elections will not be called before its work is complete; to ensure the formation of the panel was not a mere ploy to delay electoral reforms; and to allow space for Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenavasan to voice her requests.

“We want the panel to urge a guarantee from the government that it will not dissolve Parliament and call for elections while we are still conducting our investigations. This will make a mockery of the entire process,” said Azmin.

The PSC was mooted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak shortly after the tumultuous Bersih 2.0 rally for free and fair elections and has been given six months to complete its findings and suggest electoral reform recommendations.

The PSC will, however, be dissolved along with Parliament if polls are called before its six-month probe is completed.