EC may contribute to the loss of middle ground for BN
It is very unfortunate for the Election Commission to be headed by a partial, conservative and inefficient leadership which has been not receptive to feedback and proposals from the civil society and stakeholders to correct weaknesses in the electoral process and system.
It has not done anything to ensure that the electoral roll is accurate, current and devoid of discrepancies which may compromise the credibility of the electoral process. Analysts linked to Pakatan have pointed out several discrepancies such as dubious number of voters registered at the same address, voters who had passed away are still found on the roll and other legitimate and worrisome duplicity and mistakes.
Unfortunately, the Electoral Commission has not taken any positive action to clean up the electoral roll or reach out to ensure the contesting parties and voters that adequate actions are to be taken to ensure that the electoral roll will be accurate, credible and transparent.
It is not surprising for the Bersih 2.0 committee to call for a a sit-down rally on Apr 28, dubbed Bersih 3.0, in protest of the EC and the PSC audit on the electoral roll.
It claims the EC's job has been incomplete, and it has not addressed issues relating to postal voting, election offences and measures to end dirty politics.
Ambiga Sreenevasan said Bersih could not agree more that the constitution must be respected by all, but pointed out that the EC should do more as the constitution stipulates that it must enjoy public confidence.
She said the situation was further aggravated by the lack of initiatives or the failure to act in relation to the other demands of Bersih 2.0.
“In fact they (the EC) often behave like a government agency. Further, just because they are appointed under the federal constitution does not mean they are above the law and are not accountable,” she said.
It would be impossible for the EC to hold and adjudicate a free and fair general election if the electoral roll is not being cleaned up. No elections should be held if the EC cannot guarantee a clean and accurate electoral roll.
Straight Talk supports Ambiga call for the EC leaders to step down if they cannot perform their duty. They should not only clean up the electoral roll but the commission has to work out a mechanism to ensure overseas voters are allowed to vote and to create a level playing ground for all parties contesting the next GE.
If not, the EC may contribute to a lost of more support for the Barisan Nasional. Both coalitions must swing as many middle ground voters to their side to win the next GE.