RANTAU: As the battle for the Rantau seat moves into its last leg, electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 has taken to task political parties for flouting election laws by campaigning on polling day.
Bersih 2.0 steering committee member Alex Johnson said both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan parties were running their pondok panas (canvassing booths) in almost every polling centre.
"These pondok panas, some of them are within the 50m zone and taking down voters details. Bersih 2.0 strongly condemns these illegal actions by Barisan and Pakatan.
"We call upon the pegawai penguatkuasa kempen pilihan raya (PPKPR), Election Commission and police to jointly take serious action to stop these activities immediately.
"And we wish to remind these political parties that your duty is to uphold the law and not go against it and to immediately take down all pondok panas and stop these campaign activities," said Johnson.
The Rantau polls kicked off on Saturday (April 13) as 20,804 voters exercise their constitutional right to pick their assemblyman.
It sees a four-cornered fight between Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, Pakatan Harapan candidate Dr S. Streram, independent candidates Malar Rajaram and Mohd Nor Yassin.
The by-election was triggered following a Federal Court decision to uphold an earlier ruling by the Election Court to nullify the results for Rantau.
In GE14, Umno deputy president Mohamad, who was a three-term Rantau assemblyman, won the state seat unopposed after Dr Streram was denied entry to submit his nomination papers as he did not have a tag or a pass.
Election Court judge Azimah Omar allowed Dr Streram's petition for a by-election on the grounds that Mohamad's election victory was not valid.
The Rantau polls is the seventh by-election post-GE14, and the third to be held in 2019 after Cameron Highlands and Semenyih.
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