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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

EC tells Ambiga: Don't come to us, we are powerless - ask BN!

Sulaiman Kamal | 2:10 AM | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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So, the cat is out of the bag. Finally, the Election Commission has admitted it has to shadow the BN government's wishes although Prime Minister Najib Razak insists that the EC is independent.
“The EC is not an enforcement agency; it is only a management body for elections. The best we can do is to propose relevant laws to the Attorney-General’s Chambers. But ultimately it is the government of the day, which obtained majority votes, which has the final say," EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.
"If the government decides that voting age is 21 years old, whatever proposal we send to the A-G’s Chambers can never go to Parliament."

The EC has been at the centre of storm stirred up by the Najib administration, which has refused to concede there was anything wrong with country's notoriously corrupt elections system.
Najib has insisted that elections are free and fair, refusing to heed any of the 8 reforms presented polls pressure group Bersih 2.0. At the July 9 Bersih rally, Najib had ordered one of the harshest ever police crackdowns that saw more than 1,600 people arrested, thousands more injured and one dead.
There is red-hot speculation that the 13th general election will be held soon, either before or just after the October 7 Budget 2012 presentation. This is one reason why Bersih has stepped the pressure on the EC to get cracking. The commission has received tremendous flak for always adhering to the directives set by the ruling elite rather than making impartial and fair decisions.
But this is a rare occassion when an official as high-ranking as Wan Ahmad has publicly confessed the EC was mere a mere catspaw for the ruling BN government.
Najib has just days ago announced his government would introduce a biometric voter verification system but this has created even more concern that it was subject to mass electronic cheating.
The Bersih 2.0 committee, led by chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan, has recommended the use of indelible - an economic and effective method to cut down duplication of votes - but this has been resisted by the Najib regime.
Wan Ahmad advised Bersih to discuss its concerns with the federal government, repeatedly stating that the EC had no powers to amend laws.
“Don’t treat the EC as your enemy... we listen to all views,” said Wan Ahmad, who was booed by the 300-odd crowd, who came to listen to him speak at a public forum entitled “What next after July 9”.
“Most of you have this presumption; you assume, that’s why you are reacting like this. You do not understand that the EC operates under many other laws like the Police Act, the Sedition Act. Don’t push the blame on us... maybe those present are not ready for a discussion like this."

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