PETALING JAYA, April 24 ― PKR today demanded the Election Commission (EC) explain why the postal ballots were extended to the police force ahead of overseas voters.
Party president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said an official police source had informed PKR that the force received its ballots yesterday, whereas the EC had announced that overseas voters would only get theirs starting today.
“The EC must explain first if the ballot papers are only for overseas voters or for all including the police. If so what does postal voting mean? Are they not supposed to vote early?” She said in a press conference here.
Wan Azizah noted that the numbers of police votes meant their ballots would be crucial in Election 2013.
“Why the police? What is so special about the police that you issue the papers to them earlier? Their votes are substantial. This is not just about one constituency this is the whole police force,” she said.
Postal voting was removed and replaced with an early voting system after rights groups and the opposition claimed the method lacked transparency and open to vote rigging.
While the EC subsequently caved in, the polls regulator maintained that postal voting was still needed and would be applicable only for police and army personnel on duty.
Wan Azizah today said the EC must allow stakeholders to observe the movements of the postal ballots and keep them informed to enable them to monitor the process and safeguard the ballots’ integrity, noting that no such notification was made.
The federal opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has previously alleged of attempts by rivals Barisan Nasional (BN) to win the May 5 polls by vote rigging.
Its leaders had cited several alleged discrepancies in the polling system, most notably being the EC’s failure to explain the unusual number unverified voters in the electoral roll.
Polls reform groups Bersih and the Selangor government had also produced evidence of the purported irregularities and offered to tackle the problems, but the commission had allegedly declined the help.
Several areas considered “high-priority” to the ruling coalition saw a spike in the number of allegedly dubious voters.
Selangor, a state BN said it was “hell-bent” on recapturing, is one of the notable example; over 400,000 dubious voters are alleged to be on the local roll.
BN leaders denied such accusations, and stressed that the election system is fair.