Commission continues to bear the burnt of criticism for its lack of initiative to clean up the electoral roll.
KUALA LUMPUR: Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 today kept up its criticism of the Election Commission (EC) for its lack of initiative in looking into fraud in the electoral roll.
Bersih, which organised a mammoth rally last July demanding for free and fair election, announced today its plans to hold another rally on April 28.
One of the pertinent demands Bersih is making this time around is for the EC to resign.
Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga said that the EC has failed in its duties.
“Their duty is to the rakyat, not to serve the government of the day and they have failed. Hence we are asking that they step down,” she said.
While scrutinising the electoral roll, Bersih officials spotted several cases of irregularities which have yet to be explained by the National Registration Department (NRD) or the EC.
Earlier, at a press conference, political scientists Ong Kian Ming of UCSI University and Wong Chin Huat (Bersih Steering Committee member) showed evidence of numerous irregularities in the voter roll.
These irregularities were spotted from the latest voter roll as of December last year.
Bersih said that it found at least 560 cases where people shared the same old IC numbers in the roll.
Wong highlighted and raised doubts over several cases of phantom voters, where he found persons of the same name and similar IC numbers but voted in different constituencies.
Ong highlighted irregularities in the postal voting and pointed out cases where the spouses of army men or police were of the same gender.
Bersih said that these could be clerical errors but it did not rule out a more sinister reason behind these irregularities.
Ambiga said the main question was not of corrections but the integrity of the roll.
“The EC only cleans up the roll when it is pointed out to them. They have to understand that cleanliness alone is not enough; there needs to be integrity of the roll.
“How can we hold an election when the state of the electoral roll is in this condition?” she asked.
She repeated that if the EC was not ready or was short on resources to look at these irregularities, civil society was ready to do so.
Over the past several weeks, the opposition has also been making many allegations about cases of irregularities in electoral roll.
The EC’s response to these allegations is that it has been cleaning them up but was not working quick enough to the standards of “some parties”.