Bersih calls on Dr M to set up RCI on alleged electoral misconducts

  • Nation
  • Friday, 31 May 2019

Dr Mahathir

PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 has called on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to convene a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on alleged electoral misconducts during the 14th General Election.

It said the Prime Minister should immediately advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to convene an RCI to allay public disquiet over serious allegations of misconduct by former election commissioners.

Bersih 2.0 chairman Thomas Fann said an RCI would go beyond identifying and punishing those who had committed wrongdoing, as it would also unearth weaknesses and shortcomings in the electoral system so that steps could be taken to rectify it.

"Only an RCI can do the job of restoring public confidence in the electoral system," Fann said during a press conference on Friday (May 31).

He said justice took a backseat when the tribunal looking into allegations of misconduct committed by six former Election Commission (EC) members in GE14 decided not to go ahead with proceedings.

In a 3-2 decision, the tribunal concluded that any proceeding would be academic as the six former EC members had already resigned from their positions.

It said any such proceedings would not be in public or national interest as it would take up time, energy and money.

Fann said the next course of action would be an RCI to look into possible misconducts, abuses of power and shortcomings in the election processes or if there were any acts of manipulation of the electoral roll by the EC.

He added that an RCI could also recommend action against former EC commissioners and others who were complicit in wrongdoings.

He said the period the investigation should cover ought to be from the period after the 13th General Election in May 2013 to the 14th General Election last year.

Fann said the RCI should be composed of former judges, law professors, lawyers and credible members of civil society and should look at the redelineation of electoral boundaries, destruction of voters' addresses in the electoral roll, the implementation of a "flawed" overseas postal voting system among other things.

"Without free and fair elections the legitimacy of any elected candidate or government would be diminished, " said Fann.

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