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Thursday, 14 June 2018 | MYT 3:19 PM

Bersih calls for RCI into GE14, wants more EC heads to roll

PETALING JAYA: The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) has called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to be set up to look into any electoral fraud and offences that took place during the 14th General Election.

The Bersih 2.0 steering committee in a statement Thursday (June 14) said that the RCI should investigate the role played by election commissioners in addressing these issues, or lack thereof.

"The RCI must be completed within six months of its inception," said Bersih.

The Coalition also called on the remaining six commissioners to tender their resignations, following Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Hashim Abdullah's decision to enter early retirement beginning July 1.

Bersih said that the six commissioners should quit immediately for their "failure to uphold, defend and implement the democratic right to vote as well as the principles of clean, free and fair elections".

Bersih 2.0 also reminded authorities to ensure that no critical information or evidence regarding possible tampering, manipulation and rigging of the election was destroyed, modified or hidden.

With the EC chairman position vacant, Bersih called for Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to be open and transparent when appointing the best candidate for the position.

"This as an opportunity for the Government to show its commitment for electoral reform by appointing a person with high integrity and is reform-minded, who will assist in reforming the electoral system as outlined in Bersih 2.0's Election Reform Action Plan," it said.

"Nominations from civil society and public members should be considered," it added.

For long-term reform on the appointment process of EC commissioners, Bersih 2.0 called on the Government to amend the Federal Constitution and the Election Commission Act so that an EC nomination committee can be formed.

Bersih said that this committee should consist of representatives from the three branches of government, statutory bodies and civil society representatives to receive and screen applicants.

"Public hearings should be held for short-listed candidates, including processes for members of public to view the candidates' Curriculum Vitae (CV) and submit representations," said Bersih 2.0.

"The committee will submit its nominated candidates to Parliament for approval by the House of Representatives, after which it will be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for approval and appointment," it said.