Bersih 2.0: Charge Rantau Returning Officer

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The Coalition of Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) wants the returning officer in charge of the Rantau state seat to be charged with breach of duty.

The group said while it welcomes the Election Court’s decision to annul the Rantau result and call for a fresh poll earlier today, the same court must punish Amino Agus Suyub and he should be charged under Section 4(g) of the Election Offences Act for breaching his duties.

Bernama

Under the Act, those found guilty can be jailed up to two years and/or fined up to RM5,000.

“Prevention of Dr Streram’s nomination during the 14th General Election was clearly an abuse of his constitutional right to be an election candidate and the voter’s right to choose a candidate,” Bersih said in a statement.

“This is especially significant given that the entry pass to the nomination centre is not a requirement by election regulations.”

The Special Election Court ruled that the unopposed election of Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan as the assemblyman in the 14th General Election in May is null and void.

The coalition said that no election rule stated that an electoral candidate, proposer and seconder should have a tag or pass to submit the nomination form.

Streram was denied entry to submit his nomination form due to the absence of the tag or pass.

Amino Agus reportedly blocked him from entering the nomination centre on such grounds.

Streram had named Mohamad as the first respondent, Rembau parliamentary constituency returning officer Amino Agus Suyub as the second respondent and the Election Commission as the third respondent.

“We hope the judgment sends a clear and strong signal to the Election Commission and election officers not to abuse their positions in the future.

“These unlawful attempts to deny the right of candidates and voters in elections should not be tolerated,” said Bersih 2.0.

Justice Azimah Omar also said that Amino Agus’ action was “unethical and lacked integrity”.

Election Commission chief Azhar Harun told Malaysiakini that the commission would have to study the court proceedings and look into the relevant provisions before taking any action.

Azhar had previously noted that the EC had no powers to prosecute, so it is unclear who can take action against returning officers.

On the issue of passes required to enter nomination centres, Azhar said the EC would also look into this.

“Personally, I think the EC is supposed to facilitate elections – make it easier to nominate oneself, not make it difficult.

“When you make it difficult you are not facilitating democracy,” he said.