ANFREL(Asian Network for Free and Fair Elections) and NIEI(National Institute for Electoral Integrity) released their report on the just concluded by-election in Permatang Pauh where they called for overhaul of the entire election system. Their findings have added new angles to the election observations organised by MAFREL eg on ways to avoid phantom voters; on need to stop campaigning on polling day; on abuse of government resources in party campaigning; on using children for campaigning; on the lack of openness to election observers; on the intimidating presence of security forces; the `lawlessness’ of the political parties; the bias media; incidents of violence; the tainted electoral roll etc.
NIEI took some photos of Government vehicles from Perak and Kedah which showed that there were signs of abuse of government resources from the Pakatan parties, though it has always been the BN parties who have been doing it.
The Press Conference which released the report at Summit Hotel at 11.00am, ended with a discussion between the ANFREL, NIEI & MAFREL. Asian Foundation which contributed towards NIEI’s election monitoring was represented by Tim-who voiced concern over campaigning on polling day as well as the presence of out-station partisan campaigners who seemingly make the police’s heavy presence justified.
The discussion may pave the way for better cooperation between the 2 local election monitoring bodies in the future in a context where there are likely to be some by-elections in near future, which arise from the election petition challenges in court eg in Sanglang (Perlis) and Kulim(Kedah). Coincidentally all these are located in the Northern Region-so MAFREL Northern Region will be kept busy for a while yet.
Hasnah, Col Shaharuddin, Ong BK from MAFREL attended the meeting.
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