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EC to Bersih: Abandon rally, we’ll talk

June 20, 2011

EC chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof says street demonstrations will not achieve anything and does not want the commission to be made a scapegoat.

PUTRAJAYA: Do not make the Election Commission (EC) a scapegoat, its chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof has told the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih).

He said the EC was prepared to meet Bersih over issues, on the condition that they abandon their planned illegal street demonstration for July 9.

“We can discuss on that condition, but if they (Bersih) want to hold the illegal street demonstration and meet us just as a rubber stamp or an excuse, it is meaningless.

“To me, a street demonstration will not solve any problem. Amendments to the law will not happen or their demands accepted by staging a street demonstration. No way,” he told reporters at his office, here, today.

Abdul Aziz was asked to comment on Bersih’s insistence to hold an illegal street demonstration on July 9 despite the strong condemnation by several quarters who are opposed to the idea.

The group has made eight demands to ensure a clean and transparent general election, namely, to clean up the electoral roll, reform the postal voting system, use indelible ink for voters, allow campaigning for at least 21 days, free and fair access to the media, strengthen the public institutions, and to stop corruption and dirty politics.

Abdul Aziz said the EC had met up with Bersih chairman S Ambiga and some of its members at the end of last year where they accepted the EC’s explanation on the issues raised.

Different agenda

He said he had also explained, through the media, the eight issues including the need to amend the law first.

“They (Bersih) wanted to see me again in March or April this year, but at that time I was very busy with the by-elections and Sarawak state election.

“So, I proposed that we meet another time. After that it was quiet and now suddenly they want to hold an illegal demonstration,” he said.

Abdul Aziz thinks Bersih has a different agenda. “It’s not just over the issue of EC’s transparency, and the EC has been made the scapegoat, he said.

“This group is not behaving like other non-governmental organisations. I think they have been influenced by certain political parties.

“They are no more neutral, (and) no more independent. Without the support of these political parties, Bersih is nothing.”

He said if Bersih was really championing democracy, they could still discuss the issues with EC and forward their requests the proper way.

“This is not the way. Don’t make EC the scapegoat, which they have accused of not being democratic and not clean, and of helping and supporting the government. But the past general elections and by-elections have proven otherwise.

“If the voters like the opposition, they will win (seats) and there has been proof. So, what is their (Bersih’s) real intention? I think we (EC) are fair and just,” he said.


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