While the EC and BN target 1 Election watch body it is amply clear that they are hostile to all election observers groups in and out of the country. This decision to bar election observers from the coming state poll reflect a kind of paranoia-which can only be explained if there are things that the 2 parties above find it hard to explain to the public on its stand on free and fair elections as required by the Constitution. But the decision cannot stop the voters to organise themselves to keep watch on the coming state election. It is their Constitutionally guaranteed right to association and right to movement-to open their eyes and ears during elections!
Mafrel barred from observing state polls
Posted on February 20, 2011, Sunday
KUCHING: The Election Commission (EC) has barred the Malaysian for Free and Fair Election (Mafrel) from observing the upcoming state election.
The EC made the ruling barring the body from performing its watchdog role after a meeting with the state Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties yesterday.
EC chairman Tan Sri Datuk Seri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof chaired the meeting.
A BN insider revealed that the ruling was made because Mafrel had been found “enjoying the privilege to move freely around the polling centres”.
“The meeting, among others was to stop Mafrel from being positioned at the polling areas because they have been enjoying the privilege of moving in and out of the polling centres,” said the insider. The meeting, the source said, was also to alert political parties on the dos and don’ts for the coming election, including the campaign period, posters and symbols.
“In short, the meeting was to reinforce the Election Ordinance and the code of ethics (for political parties) during campaigning and polling.”
On whether the meeting also discussed the date of the election, the insider said there was no indication, but pointed out that the “EC is ready for the action”.
During the Sibu by-election in May last year, Mafrel was also barred from observing the election but went against the ruling. Meanwhile, the EC has no plans to set an age limit for election candidates or that they be certified fit.
Abdul Aziz said that selecting suitable election candidates was the responsibility of the respective political parties and the EC had nothing to do with it. He was commenting on a statement by the Perlis branch of Perkasa, the Malay right-wing group, calling on the EC to ensure that election candidates were aged below 65 and certified fit.