Sunday, September 22

EC to invite local, foreign observers for election process


PUTRAJAYA: The Election Commission (EC) has invited and will invite international election observers and appoint local Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) representatives as observers for the General Election (GE),  said EC chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah.

He said the election system adopted in this country was transparent and fair and was unlike the description portrayed by certain parties.

He said that during the 13th General Election (GE13), the EC had invited international election observers from several countries and had also appointed representatives of local NGOs as observers.

“In the GE14 too, the EC will invite election observers to look at the transparency of the election process. They comprise local as well as foreign observers.

“The attitude of certain parties who disputed the election system before the 14th General Election is considered as a propaganda to try and confuse the people and voters,” he said in a statement, here yesterday.

Recently, Pakatan Harapan deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was reported to be challenging the government to invite an independent election observer team from the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations (UN) to observe the proceedings of the GE14.

Mohd Hashim said the local observers comprised representatives of NGOs or any local organisations that were eligible and neutral and not aligned to any political party.

For the international observers, they comprised various nations representing the Commonwealth Countries, Asean and others.

Mohd Hashim also explained that in the existing election system there were also permanent observers comprising representatives of candidates who were also members of the contesting parties.

He said they would function as location observers (pemerhati barung) for review by the EC, Voting Centre Agent (ETM) who would play a role as observers at the voting place during the polling process and Vote Counting Agent (EMU) who would function as observers during the vote counting process.

He said these representatives/agents played an important role as observers and monitors for every polling and counting process taking place at the Voting Stream directly because they were stationed in the polling and vote counting room throughout the period, that is, from the time the polling and vote counting began until the counting of the ballot papers ended.

“Not only the process occurring inside the polling centre but even outside the polling room are being observed by agents of candidates who function as observing agents to monitor the goings on at the polling centre and the surrounding area,” he said.

In this regard, he added, the EC would ensure that all candidates contesting in the GE14 sent their representatives/agents during the election process.

“The EC will announce the names of representatives/agents on duty on that day so that the people know that the election process is transparent and fair.

“With the presence of the candidate’s agent as a third party, it proves that the EC does not deny the rights of the observers to also be present in the election process.

“The political parties should not have any fear about the transparency of the existing election process practised in this country,” he added.

— Bernama