EC: Keep us out of debate

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 22 May 2004

PUTRAJAYA: The Election Commission (EC) will not be drawn into the political debate on the conduct of the 11th general election currently going on in Parliament. 

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said as far as the commission was concerned, the election was over and any party still dissatisfied with its outcome had the option to file election petition. 

“A total of 41 petitions have been filed and we view this as a very positive development in electoral democracy. 

“Now the Election Court can assess the weaknesses and mistakes of the recent election, if any. 

“The EC cannot be involved in any polemic or debate on the manner the election was held because such debates are politically motivated and can influence the petitions that are pending in courts,” he said in a statement yesterday. 

Abdul Rashid said allowing the debate to “rage outside of the court” would not only be wasting time but was also pointless as it would not yield any result. 

He said he had to issue the statement because his office had been inundated with calls from the media trying to get the EC to respond to the debate in Parliament about the recent general election. 

The EC, said Abdul Rashid, remained firm in its stand that the general election in general had been conducted in a fair and transparent manner, as required by the existing law. 

If there were shortcomings, he said, they were the result of bad management by a small group of officials and personnel appointed to help the EC to conduct the election. 

“This matter is being studied and we are in the midst of preparing a report on it,” he added. 

The EC, he said, was also happy with the quality of state assemblymen and Members of Parliament chosen by the people, especially those representing the Government. 

This, he said, proved that the people enjoyed the freedom to choose their own representatives as provided for under the country’s democratic system.  

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