Bersih calls for action against Rantau returning officer

Modified 16 Nov 2018, 7:10 am

Bersih has called for charges to be pressed against the returning officer who prevented PKR's Dr S Streram from entering the Rantau election nomination centre on April 28.

Bersih said returning officer Amino Agus Suyub can be charged under Section 4(g) of the Election Offences Act for breaching his official duty.

"Those found guilty (for this offence) shall be liable to be jailed up to two years and or fined up to RM5,000.

"Prevention of 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," it said.

The Election Court in Seremban today ruled the Rantau state seat in Negeri Sembilan vacant.

This is on the grounds that there was no written law or requirement for a candidate and his seconder or proposer to have passes to enter the nomination centre.

Justice Azimah Omar also said that Amino Agus' action was "unethical and lacked integrity".

When contacted, 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.

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