Take Us To Court, EC Chief Challenges Disgruntled Parties

PUTRAJAYA, March 21 (Bernama) — Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman today told political parties, unhappy with the way polls are run in the country, to take the commission to the Election Court if they find the system to be detrimental to them.
“The accusation that we are not transparent is not proven. We are transparent…they (disgruntled political parties) should give examples (that transparency is not practised by the EC).

“If you are not happy with the elections, then take it to the court. It is clear in the Federal Constitution. Article 118 of the Federal Constitution says that anything relating to elections will have to be settled by the Election Judge, by the court. I can’t argue on whether we are transparent or otherwise…it will not end,” he told a news conference at the EC headquarters here.
Abdul Rashid was responding to allegations by several political parties, mainly opposition parties, that the country’s election process was not transparent and could be manipulated.
Due to this dissatisfaction, two major opposition parties, PAS and DAP, boycotted the Batu Talam state by-election in Pahang two months ago. The seat was won by the ruling Barisan Nasional which defeated an independent candidate.
Abdul Rashid said opposition parties had on several occasions taken the EC to court but there was never any proof that the commission was not transparent.
“What is it that we are not transparent about…when we count, display results, announce results? Everything is seen and done in the open. What we do at polling stations, counting centres…are we performing tricks? No, everything is decided by the electorate and not by the EC,” he added.
Asked what he would do if the opposition parties decided to boycott the Machap by-election in Melaka, he said the EC had no power to compel them to participate in the polls.
The seat fell vacant following the death of Datuk Poh Ah Tiam on March 15. The EC has fixed April 3 for nominations and April 12 for polling in the event of a contest.
“I cannot comment on that. That’s their business. If they want to boycott, they boycott…what can I do. My job is only to set up the machinery…the arena for people to take part in the election.
“We do whatever is within our means and within the law…everything is done within the framework of the law, nothing more, nothing less. If they are not happy they have to query the law. We are not legislators here…we don’t make the laws. Laws are put in place for us to implement and we implement according to the law,” he said.
Abdul Rashid also ruled out the possibility of the EC meeting the prime minister to submit a proposal to the government to amend the election laws, saying that this was not the function of the EC.