The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih) has invited the Election Commission (EC) to participate in the people's tribunal on the 13th general election.

Its purpose is to investigate allegations of electoral fraud and irregularities. The public has been asked to send in evidence.

Organising committee member Ivy Josiah said that the tribunal would send the EC a formal invitation soon.

NONEBersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan said the event will take place from Sept 18-22.
“This tribunal will look into whether there were any actions during the election period that has broken international laws and was against the norms of an election,” she said.

The tribunal will be based on international standards and charters set by the United Nations (UN), Ambiga said.

The tribunal will be chaired by a constitutional expert for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nepal, Yash Pal Gai.

An international panel

There are three Malaysians who are part of the panel - lawyer Azzat Kamaludin, former Universiti Malaya associate professor Mavis Puthucheary, and Malaysian Church Council secretary-general Dr Herman Shahstri.

azlanAlso included in the panel are former Indonesian election commission director Ramlan Surbakti, and president of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus, Kraisak Choonvahan.

Bersih said that the Malaysian public will be represented by a legal team formed to produce evidence to the tribunal, and will be headed by Universiti Malaya (UM) law researcher Prof Gurdial Singh Nijar.

The terms of reference for the tribunal would be as follows:

a. The complaints received or disclosed on events leading up to and surrounding the 13th general election;
b. The electoral process which took place in respect of the 13th general election;
c. The effect that the findings on (a) and (b) have had on the 13th general election and in particular the free and fair criteria; and
d. Any other matters related and incidental to the above including the effect on voters rights generally and the rights of minority communities.

Bersih said that the tribunal can act to either question or even make allegations regarding matters pertaining to the elections.

It cited the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal in 2011 and the International War Crimes Tribunal in 2001 as an example of tribunals which attracted international attention.

EC to wait and see

When asked about the EC’s response to Bersih's call, EC chief chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof told Malaysiakini that they will await the group's official invitation and study the matter.

“We will await their invitation and refer the matter to the legal advisor and the attorney general to see if it is proper for the EC to attend or not," he said in a SMS.
“Who has appointed the tribunal (members) and according to what laws?” he added.

~ Malaysiakini