The Opposition parties want to keep their `pondok panas'(information tent) on polling days. Reason: there are some `small number’ of voters who are influenced to change their votes at the last minutes! Then why don’t they consider the large number of voters who feel harassed by the polling day campaigning by the parties-which unfailingly flared up into visible tension and even violence at almost every election? Do they want to pay the high policing costs? Look like the Opposition parties do need to work out their own contradictory stand on this hot topic of giving back the respect to voters to cast their votes in an unpressured environment!
Opposition To Meet EC On ‘Pondok Panas’ Issue
KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 (Bernama) — The Opposition will meet the Election Commission (EC) on Thursday regarding the ban on political parties having voter reference centres or ‘pondok panas’ besides fishing for votes on polling day.
Pas elections director, Datuk Mustafa Ali, said the EC’s decision Monday left the opposition aghast and he said it was unreasonable.
“It is unreasonable as at a meeting with political parties last Thursday, we gave explanations and they (the EC) did not say anything as if to accept our stand, but today they said something else in the newspapers,” he told reporters at the Pas headquarters here Tuesday.
Yesterday, EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof called on all parties and their supporters involved in the Penanti state by-election to adhere to the ban on campaigning on polling day in line with Section 26(1) of the Election Offences Act 1954.
The offences include soliciting of votes and erecting the centres and the ruling is to allow voters to vote calmly and peacefully without any interference and follows the meeting with political parties last Thursday.
Mustafa said having the centres on polling day was important to make it easy for voters to check their names and if there was a problem they could re-check with the EC.
“If there are centres, the number of voters will be higher and they (the centres) are not to scare them. Its normal to have small incidents but they are controlled, there have not been any commotions in the by-elections held recently,” he said.
Besides the issue of the centres, he said the opposition will also discuss the EC’s limiting the number of supporters on nomination day and during the announcement of winners to avoid any trouble.