The Election Commission (EC) called it “unethical” for independent observers to complain to PKR, saying today that the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) appointed to monitor Election 2013 have to be impartial and independent of political parties.
EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar also denied PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail’s claims that the commission was restricting said observers from monitoring the polls freely.
“I have said in many statements before this, why these NGOs need to complain to PKR which is a political party?
“If these NGOs truly want to be (polls) observers, they have to be independent of any political parties,” Wan Ahmad (picture) said
Wan Ahmad said the EC had met with all NGOs that wanted to observe this year’s elections, and that being “impartial” was a main requirement.
“The basis of the appointment of these NGOS is impartial, that is the main condition.”
“But I am very sad, if these NGOS go and complain to PKR, this is unethical.
“This (Datuk) Saifuddin Nasution (Ismail) is good with words, it shouldn’t be like this,” Wan Ahmad said.
Last Wednesday, Saifuddin accused the EC of imposing guidelines that restrict six polls observers from monitoring the entire polls process fairly.
“This task of observing is very critical especially for areas that Pakatan Rakyat defines as hot seats,” Saifuddin said in a press conference after a PR secretariat meeting at the PKR headquarters.
“We discussed in detail about the restrictions...(and) it does not reflect the EC’s readiness to carry out a fair general elections, and if not, how can there be a fair GE.”
The six NGOs that have been accredited by the EC are the Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M), Merdeka Center, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS), Majlis Belia Malaysia (MBM), and Persatuan Promosi Hak Asasi Manusia (Proham).
A day after Saifuddin’s press conference, Wan Ahmad explained that observers are not allowed to speak with any party agents and EC workers at the polling centre to prevent their work from being disrupted.
He also said that observers are not allowed to speak to the media to prevent possible irresponsible manipulation of their statements.
“They (observers) will be appointed according to the law and under oath. They will not be allowed to communicate with anyone before submitting their observation report to the EC.
“It will not be logical to allow observers to interview EC staff...do not speak if there are not enough facts or details. I challenge Saifuddin to seek clarification from EC,” Wan Ahmad was quoted saying by national news agency Bernama.
Today, Wan Ahmad reportedly said that the observers should have expressed their unhappiness with any of the conditions directly to the EC.
“The NGOs can be perceived as a political informer. This is clearly a breach of confidentiality that each of the NGOs involved is aware of. The EC had impressed on them many times that the discussions were confidential.
“They are being unethical. We also want to find out who among them is the one with a ‘big mouth’,” Wan Ahmad said in a report by The Star.
He also refuted Saifuddin’s claims that the independent observers will not be allowed to monitor the vote count, saying that they will be permitted to watch.
“Ballot counting is an important election process. How can we not allow them to observe this? But we cannot allow too many of them because of space.
“Agents of candidates will also be present to closely monitor this.
“I do not know whether the NGOs involved do not understand us or that the political party has twisted the issue,” he said
How can we conduct a free and fair election if there is no transparency in the process?
If EC's objective is really to be transparent, then they should not be afraid of complains but remain open to questions from both side of the political divide to ensure a free and fair election.
You and your EC is worst, IPOV "Institution Productions of Alien Votes"!!!
It is also unethical for the head of EC to be a staunch supporter and member of UMNO. You supposed to be impartial and independent. So what are you taking now!