Bersih wants to meet PM

12 Feb 2014 / 22:07 H.

PETALING JAYA (Feb 12, 2014): Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah (pix) is looking forward to a possible meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak to discuss the institutionalisation of electoral reforms in the near future.
She said the electoral watchdog had sent a letter to Najib on the matter and is awaiting a reply.
"We are looking forward to his response," she told theSun, adding that there are several issues which Bersih needs to discuss with Najib.
She said the issues include the redelineation of electoral boundaries with the setting up of mechanisms that will promote an independent, fair and participatory process.
It also wants a thorough study on the first-past-the-post electoral system, and also to consider the wholly or partially-proportional representation system similar to Germany's mixed member proportional system.
"We are also calling for local council elections to be restored, and the introduction of senatorial elections and other institutional reforms to ensure the different tiers of government are more representative and responsive to the people," she said.
Maria Chin said Bersih was also calling for clean, transparent and accountable electoral rolls, the lowering of the voting age, and absentee voting for all.
"We need to strengthen public institutions and ensure neutrality by having, among others, a new Election Commission (EC) that is impartial, independent and legally empowered."
She said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and police should also be impartial and committed to human rights and the elimination of corruption.
The EC, she said, should have effective control over party election expenses, and also have full judicial scrutiny on election petitions.
She said many of these recommendations were also advocated in the 2012 Parliamentary Select Committee report, but have yet to materialise.
Maria Chin, who took up her post in November last year, sees EC as a key obstacle to Bersih's mission to institutionalise a system that will promote and protect free, clean and fair elections.
She said the EC has ignored Bersih demands and failed to implement free and fair elections especially during the 13th general election.

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