SPR made an interpretation that the non-contesting parties are not allowed to put up campaign material during campaign period, despite admitting that there is nothing in the law which explicitly disallow that. In such a situation a Constitutional Court such as operating in Indonesia would bring clarity to the situation promptly. The SPR is supposedly an independent body -however its interpretation of the law may be faulty-thus the need for a higher independent body to decide if the SPR has overstepped its boundaries.
Thursday October 8, 2009(Star)
EC: Elections Act only allows contestants’ flags
Reports by SARBAN SINGH, ZULKIFLI ABD RAHMAN, C.S. NATHAN, A. LETCHUMANAN and MAZWIN NIK ANIS
PORT DICKSON: Only flags and posters of Barisan Nasional and PAS are allowed to be displayed in the Bagan Pinang constituency, the Election Commission said.
Its deputy chairman, Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, noted that the Election Offences Act did not state why parties not contesting the elections were not allowed to display their party flags.
“Section 24B of the Act states that only the candidate and political party contesting the elections are allowed to put up campaign materials as long as he is issued with the permit and pays the campaign deposit.
“Even the candidate himself will be barred from putting up his own campaign posters if he or his party do not pay the deposit,” he said after inspecting the final check and distribution of postal votes for the armed forces and police personnel at the district and land office here yesterday.
He said party workers had wanted to know which section in the Act stated that political parties were barred from putting up their posters or banners.
“Of course, it is not stated in the Act because the contesting candidate himself is not allowed to put up posters if he hasn’t paid the campaign deposit.
“So, there is no need to state in the Act why parties which are not contesting the elections can or cannot put up their posters.
“It’s a matter of whether the campaign deposit was paid by the contesting candidate and party.”
Wan Ahmad also refuted claims by PAS that there were duplication of names in the electoral roll, particularly involving postal voters. “We have scrutinised the roll and can assure everyone that the duplication of names does not exist.”