TG PIAI POLLS | In a wake of a backlash against a new ruling requiring a permit to conduct house-to-house campaigning, Election Commission chairperson Azhar Azizan Harun reminded that such permits are not under his purview.
He urged politicians to check the law before hurling accusations against the EC, which he said was baseless and done in bad faith.
“I am surprised that even senior politicians, even those who hold a degree in law, do not seem to understand, let alone appreciate the basic legal framework concerning elections," Azhar Azizan (photo) said today.
“The institution that is tasked to keep law and order is not the EC. It is the police. The requirement for police permit for all ceramah is stated in the law.
“In the case of Tanjung Piai, the police have decided to impose a new requirement for permits even for walkabouts and house visits. The EC has nothing to do with that requirement and is not able to impose its will on the police,” said the chairperson.
Earlier, several Umno politicians had complained about the new ruling that was announced today, following a meeting between the EC and the Pontian district police yesterday.
Umno supreme council member Mahdzir Khalid said the new rules were “too extreme”, while opposition leader Ismail Sabri Yaakob lamented the lack of consultation with political parties.
"I don't even know what law they are applying (in this instance). (One new rule is that) if the vehicle is moving, it must come to a halt before campaigning can begin. It was never like that before," Ismail Sabri said.
"I don't know what happened to the EC. They should be independent and not be controlled by the federal government."
Azhar Azizan said politicians should not imply bad faith on the EC every time things don’t work in their favour.
“But of course that hope remains a castle in the sky at the moment,” he said.