Press Release of Bersih 2.0(13 July 2020): EC New Chairperson Must Have Public Confidence to Continue Electoral Reform

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (Bersih 2.0) noted the resignation of Election Commission(EC) Chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, effective 29 July 2020. After GE14, Bersih 2.0 worked closely with the Election Commission led by Azhar Harun to empower the EC and reform our electoral system.

Bersih 2.0 thanks Azhar Harun for his effort during the tenure as EC Chairman to reform our country’s electoral system. The reforms introduced have improved the conduct and transparency of our electoral system and boosted the EC’s reputation as a more transparent and accountable electoral body.

The reforms that are in place include the sending of voter’s cards before the election to inform voters of polling date, polling centres and channels, live streaming of voting, vote counting and tabulation, verifying the existence of registered voters aged 90 or above to purge the deceased ones from electoral rolls, lodged police reports on election offences, brought candidates that did not file election spending reports to court, and so on.

Replacement of new EC Chairperson must meet the requirement of Article 114 (2) Federal Constitution that in appointing members of the Election Commission, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall have regard to the importance of securing an Election Commission which enjoys public confidence. In order to ensure public confidence in the chairperson of EC or any member of the EC, BERSIH 2.0 believes the following criteria should be adhered to:

  1. Having proven track records on individual integrity;
  2. Having proven track records of being fair and free from government politics and party;
  3. Having proven track records to have knowledge/experiences/expertise on election law and electoral system

Bersih 2.0 also would like to reiterate our call for EC to remain committed in implementing electoral reform agenda so that our electoral system is clean and fair and would not be a tool for any party to keep them in power. EC as a referee in elections should remain independent to ensure that the electoral playing field is always leveled and impartial.

Released by:
Steering Committee of Bersih 2.0