India: Don’t Use Indelible Ink in Banks: Election Commission To Finance Ministry | NDTV

The government has been asked by the Election Commission to stop using indelible ink to check multiple exchanges by people at different branches after the notes ban. The election body has told the Finance Ministry in a letter that several states will hold elections and there will be confusion as indelible ink also marks citizens who have already voted. Five states will hold by-polls on Saturday, the Election Commission has said, and the government should ensure that the use of indelible ink on people exchanging banned Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes does not cause a problem when they vote.

Sri Lanka: Election Tests Pace of Postwar Reconciliation | Wall Street Journal

Voters lined up to vote in a national election Monday that will decide whether former president Mahinda Rajapaksa can stage a comeback and how fast the country moves forward with postwar reconciliation as well as economic and political revamping. Polling stations in the Indian Ocean island nation opened at 7 a.m. for Sri Lankans to choose 225 members of Parliament. Police said voting was going smoothly and there had been no major incidents as of the middle of the day. Around 75,000 police have been dispatched to ensure nothing interfered with the poll. Mr. Rajapaksa is seeking a return to power after he was ousted in presidential elections in January. The new president, Maithripala Sirisena, and his supporters accused Mr. Rajapaksa of abusing his power and building an authoritarian regime controlled by his family, which the former president denies.

Malaysia: Indelible ink whistleblower demoted to lesser post, court told | The Malay Mail

Major Zaidi Ahmad was demoted from his post as commanding officer at the Butterworth airbase after he complained publicly about the inefficacy of the  indelible ink used in Election 2013, his court-martial heard today. Captain Nor Asyikin Mohd Azmi, an officer in charge of keeping documents of officers’ personal details including ranks and positions, told the military court that Zaidi was moved to the administrative post after he blew the whistle about the ink meant to prevent repeat voting. “Major Zaidi was transferred to the Human Resources Department at the Air Force headquarters on May 3, 2013. “It was a temporary position as a second staff officer in research,” she told the court.

Malaysia: Early victory for indelible ink whistleblower facing court martial | The Malay Mail

An airforce major being court martialled for blowing the whistle on the indelible ink used in Election 2013 won an early reprieve today when a military court set aside five charges against him for going public. But Major Zaidi Ahmad remains in the dock with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) court, however, over two other charges for sending messages of a political nature. “I am thankful that at least in this early stage we can show that the charges were not right,” said lawyer Hanipa Maidin who is representing the major. Hanipa explained that the military court today set aside as defective five charges for violating council orders on the use of indelible ink during the election and for making a statement without the authorisation of the Defence Ministry. But the Sepang MP explained that the prosecution could still amend the charges later.

Afghanistan: Afghanistan’s Upcoming Presidential Elections |

On April 5, the Afghan people will vote in the country’s third presidential elections in history. In addition to the important questions of who is likely to win the race and what various outcomes will mean for the future of the county, these elections represent something else—another attempt at organizing free and fair elections in a weak, war-torn state. Difficulties abound, but based on the experience with the 2004 and 2009 presidential elections in Afghanistan, the challenges that the country has to face for these elections to succeed lie in three intimately intertwined and basic issues: voting management, country-wide participation and the perception of elections. When the international community and the post-Taliban interim Afghan government first took up the task of holding general elections in Afghanistan in 2004-2005, one major problem was apparent, namely that in this (post-)conflict state, which has no effective civil registry, the task of organizing and monitoring voting would be extremely difficult.

Malaysia: Election commission may replace ink with biometric system | Asia One

The Election Commission is looking into replacing the indelible ink with a biometric system as proposed by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim. Its deputy chairman Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said amendments to the laws must be made if it were to scrap the use of indelible ink. “We are still scrutinising the matter internally,” he said, adding that the biometric system should be more suitable for Malaysia as it was at the forefront of digital as well as information and communication technology. He pointed out that the national registry system and MyKad were among the best in the world.

Malaysia: Opposition files suit against Election Commission over election fraud | Business Standard

Malaysia’s opposition alliance today filed a suit against the country’s Election Commission, claiming fraud over the use of the indelible ink during the May 5 general elections in which the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional party secured victory. In their suit, the eight plaintiffs were the three opposition parties PAS, PKR and DAP and election candidates Dzulkefly Ahmad, M Manogaran, Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Arifin Abd Rahman and R Abbo. They named seven defendants, with the first two being Election Commission (EC) chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof and his deputy Wan Ahmad Wan Omar. The remaining defendants are members of the EC.

Malaysia: Election Commission says it will use indelible ink again in Kuala Besut by-election | The Malaysia Insider

Even as Nurul Izzah Anwar of the opposition yesterday threatened to take legal action against the Election Commission (EC) for the indelible ink fiasco, the EC says it will use that ink again for the coming by-election in Terengganu. “Yes, the indelible ink will be used,” said vice-chairman of the Election Commission Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar (pic) when contacted by The Malaysian Insider yesterday. “We’ll discuss next week if we’re using the same ink as the one used during the 13th general elections,” said Wan Ahmad, referring to the EC meeting next week on the by-election. The state seat for Kuala Besut is vacant, following the death of Barisan Nasional’s (BN) elected representative, Dr. A. Rahman Mokhtar, 55, yesterday morning from lung cancer. Meanwhile, the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has threatened legal action to get the entire EC sacked.

Malaysia: Indelible ink was actually food colouring, Shahidan tells MP | The Malay Insider

Food colouring, not chemicals, was in the indelible ink used in the general election, the Election Commission (EC) admitted today in the Dewan Rakyat. “No chemical was used in the ink but it was instead replaced with permitted food colouring,” said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim in his reply to Segambut Member of Parliament Lim Lip Eng. His statement was in stark contrast with the EC’s claim that it used silver nitrate in the ink. He said the absence of the required chemical was the reason the ink was easily washed off. Shahidan also said that the expiry date of the ink was four months from the date it was issued but blamed voters for purposely trying to wash off the ink as the reason why it was not permanent. “How long the ink remains depends on the individual and the efforts put in to wash it off.”

Malaysia: Election Commission chairperson admits failure of indelible ink | Malaysian Islander

The Election Commission admits failure of indelible ink during the 13th general election. Its chairperson, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof (pic) expressed his disappointment with reports that the ink could be washed off easily. “If people ask me now, what is the saddest thing in my life, I would answer: ‘Indelible ink’,” said Abdul Aziz during an interview with Malay daily, Sinar Harian. The ink was part of the electoral reforms made last year to improve transparency within the system. However, the plan backfired when many voters found that the indelible ink can be washed off. According to Abdul Aziz, the commission tested the indelible ink several times prior to the May 5 general election.

Malaysia: Premier Revamps Election Commission After Disputed Poll | Bloomberg

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced measures to overhaul the election commission after the ruling coalition retained power in a vote that was marred by fraud allegations. An independent bipartisan parliamentary committee of government and opposition members will oversee the commission to “strengthen public confidence” in it, Najib said today in a statement in the administrative capital of Putrajaya, near Kuala Lumpur. Najib’s Barisan Nasional alliance won 133 seats in the 222-member Parliament in the May 5 election to extend its 55-year rule over the Southeast Asian nation. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has disputed the outcome and said May 6 that his Pakatan Rakyat group would challenge some of the results because of fraud claims.

Malaysia: Election Commission sets up team to probe indelible ink issue | Borneo Post

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday set up a special team to find out why the indelible ink used to mark voters in the 13th general election could be easily removed, said EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof. He said the team would look into, among others, the ingredients of the ink, the Health Ministry’s conditions and how the ink was applied on the finger. The team would also examine the outcome of tests conducted before and after the ink was brought into Malaysia, he said in a statement. For the first time in a general election in Malaysia, the EC used the indelible ink to mark voters in the May 5 general election to prevent possible repeat voting, but received flak from political parties, electoral candidates and voters when it was learnt that the ink could be washed away easily. Abdul Aziz said the team was expected to complete the investigation in a month.

Malaysia: Election Fraud in Malaysia | Huffington Post

Malaysians cast their ballots in the most important election in the nation’s history on Sunday. On Election Day, as had been predicted by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, reports of electoral fraud were widespread. Although the Prime Minister Najib Razak had just a few days earlier given his categorical assurance that the election would be clean, a mountain of evidence started piling up to negate his assertion. It was discovered that despite years of pressuring the Malaysian Election Commission (EC) to ensure a free, fair and unbiased election the EC continued to demonstrate its incompetence and lack of professionalism. Furthermore, evidence has emerged that websites in Malaysia are being selectively and deliberately blocked to prevent the free flow of independent information.

Malaysia: Anwar Ibrahim urges protest over poll defeat | BBC

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has urged supporters to stage a protest after Malaysia’s ruling coalition won polls he said were marred by fraud. His call came as PM Najib Razak was sworn into office after his Barisan Nasional (BN, National Front) coalition won 133 of the 222 parliamentary seats. Mr Anwar’s three-party alliance secured 89 seats on Sunday in the country’s closest polls since independence. The BN has been in power in Malaysia for more than half a century. The polls saw an 80% voter turnout, amid strong campaigning from both sides.

Malaysia: Anwar to challenge Election Commission’s announcement: We don’t accept that BN has won | Malaysia Chronicle

Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has challenged the controversial announcement made by the Election Commission that the Umno-BN coalition led by Prime Minister Najib Razak had won the majority of seats needed to form the next federal government. “At this stage, we are not prepared to accept the announcement of the EC that BN has won the majority to form the government,” PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle as he exited from the emergency meeting held by Pakatan Rakyat leaders over news of the ‘win’.

Malaysia: Election Commission holds demo on indelible ink | Straits Times

Malaysia’s Election Commission (EC) held a public demonstration here on Thursday to prove that the ink could last despite washing the finger several times, following an uproar over the incident. EC secretary Kamaruddin Mohamed Baria invited a member of the press, who did advance voting, to participate in the demonstration, Free Malaysia Today reports. This time, the EC staff shook the indelible ink bottle for about 30 seconds before applying on the Sinar Harian reporter, Muhammad Shamsul Abd Ghani’s index finger. Later, Shamsul attempted to wash away the ink several times using disinfectant, spirit, vinegar and water but failed. The attempts only turned the ink colour from dark purple to dark red.

Malaysia: Amid protests, EC insists indelible ink won’t come off | Malaysia Insider

While the Election Commission (EC) has rubbished claims that motor oil or other substances could be used to remove the ink stain marking voters who have cast their ballots, it has already sparked off a storm of protests that the ink may not be as indelible as said. Reports of the oil-based lubricant as well as other substances such as egg yolk wash or merely scrubbing with water and soap could remove the indelible ink stain surfaced earlier today, hours after policemen and military personnel cast their ballots in advanced voting. “Impossible, I do not believe the indelible ink can be removed by any oil-based lubricant… the ink is made from silver nitrate. “When the ink is put on the fingernail, it will seep into the skin,” EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof told The Malaysian Insider when contacted. He said that even if the stain on the fingernail could be rubbed off, the stain would stay visible on the skin surrounding the nail for seven days.

Malaysia: Indelible ink is… delible | Straits Times

Barely hours after ‘indelible’ ink was used for the first time in Malaysia, complaints have emerged that the ink is in fact removable. This is contrary to the Election Commission’s (EC) assurance that traces of the ink would last at least seven days on the finger after being painted on with a brush. One soldier, who had marked his ballot in advance voting on Tuesday morning, said he had removed most of the ink with water alone – just six hours later, Malaysiakini reported.

Armenia: New kind of identification ink hoped to avoid previous problems |

A new type of ink will be used in the February 18 presidential election, as announced Tuesday by the Central Election Commission — one that is hoped to perform better than the type that was used in last May’s parliamentary elections that resulted in charges of fraud, as the ink evaporated long before its intended duration. The ink, applied into passports of participating voters, is meant to prevent repeated voting. While it is hoped that the new ink will fulfill its aim, at least one member of the ICES monitoring mission has urged Armenia to abandon the practice in favor of more modern methodology.