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Saturday, March 30, 2013

EC draws scorn with 'we have no power on caretaker guidelines' claim

EC draws scorn with 'we have no power on caretaker guidelines' claim
Despite the parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms last year recommending a set of guidelines for a caretaker government, such a document is nowhere in sight even as the Negeri Sembilan state assembly became the first to be automatically dissolved yesterday.
Election Commission chief Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof (pic) said the commission has no power to introduce such guidelines.
“If EC does have the power on this matter, it doesn’t mean that they will follow,” Aziz told Berita Harian.
The Federal Constitution, said Aziz, does not give EC the power to ensure the guidelines are adhered to.
He further claimed that no country conforms to the practice.
Aziz’s statement however contrasted the view of constitution expert Tommy Thomas, who named Britain, Australia and Canada as among countries having guidelines for caretaker government.
Aziz said every state should have its own guidelines on caretaker government.
Last September, EC announced that it had drafted guidelines for caretaker government that would be presented to the Federal government.
Earlier, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz said he had asked the Attorney General’s Chambers to prepare guidelines for caretaker government.
Nazri had stressed that the guidelines must be on par with the conventions set by Australia and Britain.

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