EC chief: I know poll date, but I ain't telling

Nov 15, 07

Election Commission (EC) chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said that he knows when the next general election will be held but he cannot reveal the date.

However, he hinted that the polls could be held as early as January next year once the nationwide briefing for returning officers, assistant returning officers and election campaign enforcement teams is completed.
The briefing kicked off in Malacca today where Abdul Rashid was quizzed on the election date by reporters.
“I can’t lie to you that I don’t know when the next general election will be held. I can’t tell you when but I have given enough reminders to all to prepare for the polls,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.
Admitting that the election fever was on the rise, he asked all quarters to gear up for the 12th general election as the EC did not want any party to be lagging in their preparation.
“As the EC is making the preparations, political parties must also get their machinery ready,” he said.
Abdul Rashid said he believed that the general election would be held shortly after the nationwide briefings ended in one-and-a-half months.
Same laws being used
Commenting on the criticisms levelled at the EC, he said elections in the country were free and fair and transparent, in accordance with existing laws.
“We are using the same laws which had been in existence (for a long time) and if certain quarters are not happy with that, they shouldn’t blame the EC.
“They have to convince the authorities to review the laws,” he added.
He said the EC was prepared to engage in a dialogue with those who accused the commission of not being fair, independent and transparent.
Last Saturday, the opposition-backed election watchdog Bersih organised a massive rally in Kuala Lumpur which saw some 40,000 people taking to the streets to call for electoral reforms.
A memorandum was also submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong via a palace official.