KUALA LUMPUR, 4 Apr: The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) has launched an ethics code for the 13th General Elections (GE-13) and a guideline for the provisional government today.
This action is in line with the announcement of the dissolution of Parliament by Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday.
The launch today was officiated by the Co-Chairman of BERSIH 2.0, who is also a National Laureate, Datuk A Samad Said.
The six ethical codes involved in the GE-13 outlines the minimum standards of ethics for all political parties, candidates, campaign staff, volunteers and supporters in the general election which is in accordance with the norms adopted internationally.
BERSIH 2.0 Co-Chairman, Datuk S Ambiga said that Malaysia is a member of the Human Rights Council since 1967, became a member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and is bound by the high standards of election ethical codes.
“The 1994 IPU Declaration related to the Criteria for Free and Fair Elections has set universally accepted standards on how to conduct a free and fair election.
“The IPU Resolution adopted on 20 April 2011 in Panama emphasises the need to establish a framework for an effective election.
“That should be centred on a few basic elements, including a free and fair election which is held at regular intervals, secrecy of the vote, a competitive and inclusive elections, media access as well as fair and equal access to the country’s resources for all political parties.
“Holistic voting rights, a reliable voter registration process and an independent and impartial body that is entrusted to manage the elections in a free and fair manner,” she said at a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall (KLCAH).
She explained that it is the responsibility of all political parties and candidates to ensure compliance with this ethical code by respective campaigners, volunteers and supporters.
The six ethic codes in the GE-13 raised by BERSIH 2.0 is the prohibition on speeches that incites or encourages hostility, the ban on smear campaign, and independence of journalists and election observers to carry out their duties.
Three other ethical codes is the prohibition of intimidating and acting violently, electoral and campaigning offences.
Ambiga said that as a guide, campaigns that contains elements that are not fit for children, has abusive language or behaviour, contains contamination and contempt against any individual due to ethnicity, gender, religion and social status is altogether prohibited.
Furthermore, in the interim government guidelines, it explain the role of the federal government and the state government after the dissolution where they cannot make any policy decisions, make important appointments or sign any big contracts.
Apart from that, the provisional government cannot announce any new financial grants of any form or agreements related to it, as well as to not make any new promises to build infrastructure or implement public projects.
“The federal government or the State Exco cannot combine their official visits with election work.
“They also cannot use resources, vehicles, personnel or government machinery during the election campaign work,” she said.
In the interim government guidelines are also stated that media access and broadcast should be done freely and fairly.