Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz said NGOs can participate in the Election Commission (EC) but it comes with a lot of conditions attached. First, it was up to the EC to decide if civil society groups, which want to become the EC’s check and balance, are allowed to partake in its decision-making process.
Nazri says the although the EC is an independent body, the NGOs must negotiate with the government to participate in the commission. And the final caveat – if they want to negotiate with the government, they must promise that there will be no more street demonstrations.
“We don’t have any problems with NGOs participating in the EC; we are open to suggestions. I mean it’s up to the EC,” Nazri told reporters after officiating at the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges’ Conference 2011 here today.
“As you know, EC is an independent body. If it’s okay with them (EC), then they (NGOs) can negotiate with the government, as long as they promise there will not be anymore street demonstrations,” said Nazir, the Padang Rengas MP.
Nazri’s statement comes after the goverrnment came in for a lot of flak following its “aggressive” handling of the July 9 rally held by polls watchdog Bersih 2.0.
The government’s excessive use of force against the protesters also drew international criticism. Police fired tear gas and water cannons on the peaceful protest that saw more than 1,700 arrests including opposition lawmakers.
Full Article: NGOs in the Election Commission? | Free Malaysia Today.