Anwar resonates with Bersih, says Mahathir’s call for the EC to relax campaign rules bad for the administration

Bersih seems to have found an inconvenient advocate in the form of Anwar Ibrahim, Mahathir’s proclaimed successor for the post of Prime Minister. Source (pic): The Mole

Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim appears to resonate with Bersih 2.0 on the need for the Election Commission to stand firm in restricting election campaigning by ministers even if the Prime Minister calls for a relaxation of such guidelines.

Yesterday, Mahathir complained that the EC’s rule barring ministers and politicians with government posts from campaigning during office hours was unjust as the opposition could campaign around the clock.

Anwar completely disagreed, stressing that a fair procedure should be put in place when allowing Cabinet Ministers and public officials who are party leaders to campaign during working hours.


SUBANG JAYA: Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim appears to resonate with Bersih 2.0 on the need for the Election Commission to stand firm in restricting election campaigning by ministers even if the Prime Minister calls for a relaxation of such guidelines.

The self-acclaimed electoral watchdog pointed out that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s lament about him not being able to use government assets during campaigning wasn’t in line with international resolutions against corruption.

“EC chairman Azhar Azizan Harun must stand firm on this restriction to avoid any perception that the EC is controlled by Dr Mahathir, who has called for its relaxation.


“Restricting ‘political or other activity of public officials outside the scope of their office’ is in line with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 51/59 ‘Actions against Corruption’.

“Similarly, the international IDEA in its Code of Conduct for Political Parties: Campaigning in Democratic Elections urges parties not to ‘use official State, Provincial, Municipal or other public resources for campaigning purposes’,”, said Bersih 2.0 as reported by The Star Online.

Yesterday, Mahathir complained that the EC’s rule of barring ministers and politicians with government posts from campaigning during office hours was unjust as the opposition could campaign around the clock.

This, he implied, was to the detriment of the ruling coalition as the opposition would have an ‘unfair’ advantage.

The Prime Minister may have miscalculated.

He should realise, that any party (or coalition) holding the reins of government is almost always at an advantage as the party (or coalition) would have the luxury of administering the country in ways that appease voters in the run up to general elections.

As a matter of fact, such a party (or coalition) could even take cues from the opposition campaigns and fix problems in hopes that the people would appreciate its willingness to change.

Notwithstanding, Bersih seems to have found an inconvenient advocate on the matter in the form of Anwar Ibrahim, Mahathir’s proclaimed successor for the post of Prime Minister.

In what appeared to be a smack on Mahathir’s face, Anwar completely disagreed with his onetime jailer on the need for the EC to reconsider the restrictive campaign rule, stressing that a fair procedure should be put in place when allowing Cabinet Ministers and public officials who are party leaders to campaign during working hours.

“If you are open, the Ministers can just virtually spend all the time campaigning which is also bad (for the administration). If they do, then they (Ministers) should take leave,” he told reporters after delivering a talk entitled “Digital Native Agenda’ at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Bangi.

THE THIRD FORCE

Loading...

COMMENTS

Comments

Comments



Loading...