Guide to prevent abuse of incumbency advantage for electioneering: NO condition, NO campaign, NO candidates (No 3Cs)

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) observes with some concern the role played by political leaders who are part of the Federal Government in the build-up to the upcoming six state elections (6PRN).

While it is clear that state governments are in caretaker mode and should not be using state resources to campaign or to make any major announcement of allocations, it is less clear about the role of the federal government who are not in caretaker mode.

While there are no laws that forbid a federal government from functioning during state elections (and vice-versa), all parties should compete fairly so that voters are not unduly and unfairly influenced by parties who have access to state resources and machinery.

BERSIH would like to propose the following guideline to situations where federal and state elections are not held together, to ensure that parties do not abuse government resources at different levels to gain undue advantage over their opponents:

– No CONDITIONS should be attached to the fulfillment of any announcements or allocations made to voters such as the parties or candidates winning in the upcoming election. Any commitments made by the federal government should be fulfilled regardless of the outcome of the state elections.

– No CAMPAIGN during official federal functions where references are made to the upcoming elections, and names of parties or candidates are mentioned, and party symbols or flags are displayed. No allocations are to be made selectively for constituencies to help certain parties to wrest or retain such constituencies.

– No CANDIDATES should be present in federal government functions unless they are also federal ministers themselves, when special announcements or allocations are made. L9


The above three Cs are proposals by BERSIH in a situation where there are no guidelines or laws to regulate the activities of governments which are not in caretaker mode.

These ‘No to 3Cs’ principles should of course also apply to the conduct of noncaretaker state Governments during Federal elections.

BERSIH hopes that all political parties and leaders will uphold the spirit of fairplay during elections and refrain from abusing state resources and machinery to gain an unfair advantage. Voters are watching, and the election observers mobilized by Bersih will be documenting candidates and parties that commit election campaign offenses.

Released by :
BERSIH Steering Committee