The Election Commission (EC) must strictly follow the law over any disputes pertaining to the redelineation proposal it has announced, and not bow to pressure from political parties, Maria Chin Abdullah said today.
Referring to a statement from Barisan Nasional Secretary-General Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, the Bersih 2.0 chief said the EC has to only follow provisions in the Federal Constitution on the current delineation exercise.
“The EC must go through due process as provided in the constitution unless there are somethings before the court,” Chin said, adding that only voters, state governments and local governments can voice objections against the redelineation exercise.
Tengku Adnan said yesterday that the BN would be holding a special meeting on Thursday to discuss the redelineation exercise recommended by the EC.
He said the meeting to be attended by BN component parties’ secretaries-general, would address the grievances from each party before they were submitted to the EC before the Oct 14 deadline.
Adnan, who is also Umno secretary-general, said a study would be forwarded to the EC with a request to review the redelineation, adding that several divisions in his party were also unhappy.
Adnan had also said that Opposition parties could also register their dissatisfaction with the EC.
Referring to the EC’s announcement on the redelineation exercise two weeks ago, Chin noted that EC secretary Abdul Ghani Salleh said it was conducted according to Clause (2) Article 113 of the Federal Constitution and Amendments to Clause (2) Article 14 of the Sabah State Constitution as gazetted on Aug 18.
As such, the EC has to display the Redelineation of Electoral Boundaries for the peninsula and Sabah for a month, from Sept 15 to Oct 14.
The provision under the same law also states that only state governments, local governments and a group of at least 100 voters could voice their objections over the delineation proposed.
This would then need to be followed by the EC holding a public hearing to hear complaints and aggrieved parties could seek legal redress if their grievances are not addressed.
Chin said the EC could meet representatives from both sides of the political divide, civil society and individuals but due process must be followed since the exercise had started.
She urged voters to exercise their right to object because malapportionment of seats this time went against the spirit of the constitution.
“We will display later this week, on our website, the sample letter and reasons for objecting,” she said.
Last week,the EC declined to meet several MPs from the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur who were outraged over the redrawing of boundaries.
Meanwhile, Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali said he had instructed lawyers to look into all legal options that were available as the EC had failed to address key issues raised in a letter he had sent to them.
Azmin wrote to the EC in his capacity as state menteri besar, seeking explanation for the rationale, basis, principle and mechanism behind the redelineation proposal, which he deemed “unconstitutional”.
The EC later responded in a letter which was delivered to the Menteri Besar’s office last Friday.
Penang Pakatan Harapan had also met yesterday to object to the recommended redelineation of electoral boundaries in the state. However, the outcome of the meeting has not been made known to the public as yet.