Bersih denies proposing its former leaders to be EC head

Shahrul Aman Saari says former Bersih leaders and good judges are suitable candidates to head the Election Commission.

PETALING JAYA: Electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 has denied putting forward the names of its three former leaders for consideration as chairman of the Election Commission.

Bersih’s steering committee said today it recognised that all three had other important responsibilities and roles to play.

The names of former Bersih leaders Ambiga Sreenevasan and Maria Chin Abdullah have both been mentioned as possible heads of the Election Commission. Ambiga said “no” earlier this week when asked if she would assume the post.

The contract of the EC chairman, Hashim Abdullah, was cut short by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and he steps down on July 1.

Ambiga, a lawyer, is a member of an advisory committee to the prime minister which is looking into institutional reforms to be carried out by the new government.

Maria Chin left Bersih to join PKR and was elected MP for Petaling Jaya at the general election last month.

The Bersih committee said today that “there is no shortage of alternative impartial, experienced and reform-minded candidates that are fully capable of taking charge of the EC”.

Today’s statement came in the wake of comments by Bersih’s acting chairman, Shahrul Aman Saari, that there were many suitable candidates, such as former Bersih chairmen, good judges or former judges.

The committee said the statement on Wednesday was to outline criteria for candidates for the position.

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