Released jointly by: ASLI Centre for Public Policy Studies (ASLI-CPPS), Merdeka Centre for opinion Research, Transparency International – Malaysia, and Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), following our meeting with Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof on Thursday 19 July 2012
We would like to thank the Election Commission (EC) for inviting us to be domestic election observers for GE13. We have not yet received any formal letter of appointment, nor have we accepted the EC’s kind invitation. At this stage, we are still negotiating the terms and conditions with the EC. We are pleased to know that the EC has confidence in our ability to observe GE13 professionally.
We would also like to thank Tan Sri Abdul Aziz, chairman of the EC, for meeting us on Thursday 19 July 2012. We commend Tan Sri Abdul Aziz, and the EC as a whole, for their willingness to negotiate with us, and for opening to us negotiation channels at the highest level.
As organisations that are well-connected with many other civil society organisations, we fully appreciate the concerns voiced by our NGO friends since the day the EC announced that they are inviting us to be accredited election observers. We have also taken initiatives to gather their opinion to help us in our ongoing negotiation with the EC.
In the meeting with Tan Sri Abdul Aziz yesterday, we voiced several suggestions.
Among others, we voiced the concerns of civil society regarding the lack of transparency in the process of selecting organisations to be accredited as election observers. We urged the EC to announce a clear and consistent criteria for accreditation of election observers to ensure the credibility of the invited organisations is not questioned.
We also urged the EC to ensure that the whole process of election observation adheres to international standards. We have analysed two major documents – the Declaration of Global Principles for Non-partisan Election Observations and Monitoring of Citizen Organisations and the OSCE/ODIHR Handbook for Domestic Election Observers. In our meeting with Tan Sri Abdul Aziz, we called upon the EC to ensure all rules imposed on accredited observers, as well as the process of accrediting the observers, comply with these international standards.
The same meeting saw PROHAM withdrawing due to their own lack of experience, expertise, personnel and resources to effectively undertake the responsibility of election observations. We would like to thank PROHAM for all the support they have given.
As a group, we look forward to the EC’s responses to our requests. We look forward to working with the EC as well as with all our friends in civil society to ensure GE13 is free and fair. We hope the cordial relationship that has been built with all parties will enable us to work together for the betterment of our nation.