Friday, May 7, 2021

Electoral reform chief confident Putrajaya will implement all 49 recommendations

32 recommendations must be carried out within the next three years, says Ab Rashid Ab Rahman.

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The head of Putrajaya’s committee tasked with reforming the electoral system is confident that the Perikatan Nasional government will implement all 49 of its recommendations.

Former Election Commission chairman Ab Rashid Ab Rahman, who heads the Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) formed by the Pakatan Harapan government, said the implementation of each recommendation on improving the electoral system would be based on its importance.

Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Takiyuddin Hassan said the government had formed a special committee chaired by senior minister Mohamed Azmin Ali to study the recommendations.

Rashid said he was confident Putrajaya would welcome the recommendations now that “the government seems to be stable”.

“I am told they will study in-depth to see which recommendation can be implemented immediately,” he told a seminar in Kuala Lumpur today.

“This means that the government has indirectly accepted the recommendations.”

Rashid said out of the 49 recommendations, 32 should be carried out in the next three years.

He said recommendations that need attention by the government include drawing up rules on an interim government following the dissolution of Parliament.

He said the interim government should have specific rules during its 60-day mandate.

“It has no mandate and cannot operate as a normal government, so it is better that we formulate the rules where suitable,” Rashid said.

He also said there should be do’s and don’ts for an interim government.

“At the moment, there is nothing in writing or in convention.”

Rashid also said the EC should have greater control over the media during election campaigns to ensure fair coverage for all parties.

He said the idea was not to infringe on media freedom, but to make media outlets more responsible and fair.

Meanwhile, Rashid said it was up to the people to decide whether or not the general election should be held during the pandemic season.

He added that while he felt the present government is constitutionally valid, an election could put to rest questions on its legitimacy.

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