Monday, August 25, 2008

Permatang Pauh : EC Covers Its Mistakes

Source : Malaysiakini

This is a lie'

The controversy began with claims from PKR yesterday that there are a total of 868 names which could not be found in the electoral roll which was ‘updated' on July 31 - to be used tomorrow - as compared to the roll which was gazetted on June 19.

Usually, a gazetted electoral roll will be used as the official roll in the conduct of an election. The gazetted roll is final and cannot be questioned in court even if there is any dispute.

election commision pc 250808 04 However, strangely, the EC has decided to use the ‘updated' roll on July 31 - and yet to be gazetted - for the by-election tomorrow and led to questions over it.

Apart from that, PKR also claimed the electoral roll was tainted with over 400 doubtful postal voters and argued these defects could eventually affect about 2,000 votes in total for the party.

Explaining on the 868 names which went ‘missing' in the ‘updated' roll, Kamaruzaman clarified today that there were only 158 names which were removed in the latest roll.

The reasons why these names were removed among others include ‘wrong' voters registration, deaths, those who aged above 100 and deemed fit by the EC to remove their names from the roll on the presumption that they have passed away.

Hitting out at the PKR's claim, a visibly annoyed Kamaruzaman said: "This is a lie. This is done to tarnish the good name of the EC."

There are a total of 58,459 eligible voters who can cast their vote tomorrow, an increase of 10 new voters compared to the March general election.

Temperature at the press conference ran high as journalists repeatedly attempted to clarify the discrepancy in the figures provided by the EC secretary, which could not be tallied.

Pressed on why a non-gazetted roll was being used in the by-election, he shot back and said: "Can you show me which provision of the law (which requires) me to gazette the roll?"

"Those names which I have deleted (from the roll) was done under the power given to me as a chief registrar, I don't need to display (the new roll)," he argued.

The press conference ended after 90 minutes with the group of journalists leaving in an utterly confused state.