PETALING JAYA: Former Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah will contest in the coming general election only if Pakatan Harapan hands her a parliamentary seat.
"If they don't give me a parliament seat, I won't stand," she said at a press conference on Tuesday at the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections' headquarters here.
Maria said she hopes that by becoming an MP she can push the reform agenda and change the narrative in Parliament with high quality debates.
"My sole purpose is to contest in a parliamentary seat, win, and push my agenda.
"Federal is the one that makes the decision, I need that to push my agenda into parliament," she said.
Maria added, however, that she agreed with Pakatan's manifesto.
She also maintained that she will contest as an independent Pakatan candidate and not join any of the opposition coalition's parties to ensure that she has the independence to keep to her agenda.
"Having Pakatan's platform but contesting as an independent candidate will keep me focused in pushing the reform agenda," she said, adding that she wants to avoid getting caught up in party politics.
"I should be able to put up my own position if there are certain controversial issues," she said.
In a statement, Bersih said that Maria had tendered her resignation as chairman on March 4, and her last day was March 5.
"Bersih 2.0 thanks Maria for her contribution to the cause of free and fair elections over the last 10 years and her leadership since 2013.
"Despite harassment, threats against her and her family and detention under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) in 2015, Maria has remained resolute in carrying forward the agenda for institutional accountability and reform.
"We express our best wishes to Maria in her foray into politics and we are delighted that she has said she will push, through legislation and policy changes, reform of the electoral system and of mature democracy.
"We hope all candidates and parties will make explicit commitments to do so," the group's steering committee said in its statement.
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