PETALING JAYA: The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) today expressed its support for Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister to form the new government amid the ongoing political crisis.
Bersih 2.0, which on Monday called for fresh parliamentary elections, today said that given the choice between interim prime minister Mahathir and Muhyiddin Yassin, the electoral reform group supports a government led by Mahathir.
Muhyiddin has received support from Barisan Nasional and PAS to be the country’s eighth prime minister while Mahathir said he will not work with Umno.
While Bersih 2.0 said new members – parties or individual parliamentarians – could join PH, they have to commit themselves to the coalition’s GE14 manifesto.
“It has to be a Pakatan Harapan (PH) government based on PH’s manifesto, as this was the people’s mandate in GE14,” the NGO said.
Stating that the political turbulence since Feb 23 was due to ambiguity in PH’s transition plan, the group said that such a recurrence must be avoided with a clear transition plan – and that Mahathir’s prime ministership should end at the most two weeks after the Apec summit.
“To minimise uncertainty, his successor should be made the deputy prime minister, and the person should be Anwar Ibrahim, the 8th prime minister promised by PH in GE14, or any other candidate agreed to by PH’s presidential council,” said Bersih 2.0
The group also called for responsible and healthy party politics to be promoted through substantial reforms in the electoral and political system.
Urging a term limit for the prime minister’s post and decentralisaton of power, Bersih 2.0 is also pushing for a level playing field in the 15th general election for all parties to contest, and measures to curb party-crossing.
“Finally, and most importantly, the reconfigured PH government must recognise its weaknesses in implementing the reform agenda in its first 21 months,” said the statement.
Bersih wants a PH government to focus on three aspects in the remaining term:
- Managing the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak and the on-going US-China trade war to alleviate the hardship of the people, especially the marginalised groups;
- Implement institutional reforms to affirm rule of law, good governance and human rights; and,
- Improve communal relations and reduce anxiety and insecurity felt by the Malay-Muslims as well as other communities in East and West Malaysia.