Ridiculous to ask Azhar to resign as EC chief, says predecessor

Former Election Commission chairman Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman says Azhar Azizan Harun has carried out his duties professionally and performed well.

PETALING JAYA: A former Election Commission chairman has come to Azhar Azizan Harun’s defence in the wake of calls for him to resign from the post following the recent change in government.

Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, a PPBM vice-president, said the call made by a former EC deputy chairman for Azhar to step down was “ridiculous” as Azhar had carried out his duties professionally and performed well.

Azhar, Rashid said, also had a good reputation with the commission.

“Nobody is complaining about what he has been doing, especially when it comes to election reforms,” Rashid told FMT.

Former EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar had urged Azhar and his commissioners yesterday to resign following the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government last week “to ensure the EC remains independent and neutral”.

He also accused the current line-up of being pro-Pakatan Harapan activists.

Rashid, who also chairs Putrajaya’s Electoral Reform Committee, said there was no need to bring in Azhar’s past.

Critics should instead focus on what he is doing now.

“If you want to judge Azhar, base it on his work. Don’t bring in politics. He is not political,” Rashid said, adding that Azhar should remain in his post.

Earlier today, electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 slammed Wan Ahmad’s demand as illogical.

The NGO argued that Azhar had introduced many reforms, including requiring candidates to pledge not to violate the Election Offences Act.

They also said that the EC under Azhar was “more transparent and open than the EC during the Barisan Nasional era”.