Bersih: 16.5% popular votes enough to form govt (Updated)

03 Apr 2018 / 16:12 H.

PETALING JAYA: Sixteen and a half percent of the popular vote - that is all it theoretically takes to win the forthcoming elections and form the government, according to Bersih 2.0.
The electoral watchdog said this was a shocking possibility that could happen in the 14th General Election (GE14) following the gazetting of the Election Commission's (EC) redelineation report, which they claim favours the federal government.
Bersih 2.0 outreach officer Chan Tsu Chong said the redrawing of electoral boundaries meant that the smallest 112 seats (required to obtain a simple majority of the overall 222 seats) comprise only 33%, or 4.47 million, of the overall voters.
The largest 112 seats, meanwhile, comprise some 67% (9.07 million) of the voters.
"In the most extreme of cases, a simple parliamentary majority could theoretically be won with just 16.5% of the popular vote, that is by obtaining 50% plus one extra vote for each of the 112 smallest constituencies," he told a press conference, here, yesterday.
While the 16.5% popular votes figure to win the elections is unlikely to happen, Chan believed Barisan Nasional (BN) will return to power even if it loses the majority votes as it did in the previous GE.
BN won just 47% of the popular votes in GE13, but that translated into 60% of the total parliamentary constituencies.
Chan said this subverting of democracy by "crowning the loser" was one of seven major violations by the EC in its redelineation report.
He said the other violations were:
- the worsening malapportionment;
- partisan gerrymandering based on the voting pattern;
- ethnic-based gerrymandering;
- exclusion of over 50% of parliamentary constituencies from redelineation;
- recycling of the recommendations ditched after the first round of inquiry; and
- the failure to table redelineation proposal for Sabah
Taking a particular mention on the issue of malapportionment, Chan said the purpose of redelineation was supposed to reduce that problem, and not add to it.
He pointed that aside from Perlis, Terengganu, Penang and Kuala Lumpur, the ratio between the smallest and largest constituencies within a particular state were above two times, and were amplified by the redelineation exercise.
"The EC also created super-sized constituencies through the redelineation, with the top ten largest seats having sizes ranging from 108,156 voters to 150,439 voters, much larger than their state average," he added.

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