Press Statement (25 February 2020): No to Unity Government: Democracy is about Healthy Multi-Party Competition

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) views with concern the press release from the PMO today that Interim PM Tun Dr Mahathir is meeting up with all leaders of political parties. In the backdrop of the current political crisis, could the PM be considering a unity government where all major parties are represented in government?

Bersih 2.0 opposes such a government as it goes against the spirit of democracy. Democracy is about allowing political parties with different ideologies to compete against each other for the right to govern and implement policies based on their ideologies. In doing so, they work hard to win votes knowing that if they fail to perform they would be voted out at elections.

Having a unity government would also mean there would be no opposition to the government of the day. There would be no parties to do effective check and balances, to hold the government accountable. The Rakyat would also have no alternatives on who to represent them.

The risk of a unity government is that it can become kleptocratic where all parties join hands to enrich themselves at the expense of the Rakyat. Such a scenario must not be allowed to happen.

If the YDP Agong is still unable to determine who commands the majority support in parliament and which coalition can form the government, then we call for His Majesty to dissolve the Parliament and let the Rakyat choose the parties or coalition they want as their government for 5 years.

Statement issued by:
The Steering Committee of Bersih 2.0

(Image credit: Bernama)