PH objects to changes by EC on counting ballots, polling agents

KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan (PH) has rejected two changes in the rules made by the Election Commission (EC) which concern polling and counting agents, and counting of ballots.

According to PH chief secretary Saifuddin Abdullah, political parties are now required to submit the names of their polling and counting agents on nomination day.

Previously, the parties could submit the names one or two days before the polling date.

Saifuddin questioned the reason for asking for the names of the agents earlier.

“We have never been required to submit them on nomination day. Previously, the names were given to the returning officer,” he said after attending the PH presidential council meeting today.

On the second rule change, Saifuddin said the EC has proposed to count the ballots cast for parliamentary and state seats simultaneously.

He said that the EC in the past would count the ballots for parliamentary seats first, followed by the ballots for state seats.

Saifuddin said EC informed representatives of political parties of the two new changes during a briefing.

“We reject the new rules. Furthermore, the rules are not law. They are administrative. We were told about this verbally. There’s nothing in black and white.”

He added that PH chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad would write to the EC officially to object to the change in the rules.