Electoral reform movement Bersih is seeing red over the Election Commission's (EC) "arrogant refusal" to meet the NGO on the re-delineation of electoral boundaries.
EC chief Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said yesterday the commission would proceed with its re-delineation process without consulting civil society groups.
Instead, it will only meet with representatives from state governments and local authorities.
However, Bersih maintains that the EC will not have the public confidence necessary to carry out its duties if it does not meet with the NGOs.
"Article 114(2) of the Federal Constitution clearly states the importance of “public confidence” in the work of the EC, so much so that this becomes the sole explicit criterion of their appointment by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
"This confidence can only be obtained via continued engagement with civil society," the Bersih steering committee said in a statement today.
Rapped for engaging with certain parties only
The election watchdog also condemned the EC for "selectively engaging with certain political parties" only in the re-delineation process.
"Bersih calls upon Abdul Aziz to make amends by actively and professionally engaging with all stakeholders in the re-delineation process," it said.
It also warned the EC not to slip parliamentary seat increases into its re-delineation proposal, as this was the duty of a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC)
"The EC cannot usurp the Parliament’s power by slipping seat increases into its re-delineation proposal, as it did in 2003 and 2005.
"Bersih will challenge the constitutionality of such an act if it is repeated. The EC has no business initiating seat increases," the watchdog said.
If a PSC on seat increase is not established, the EC should only propose re-delineation based on the existing 222 parliamentary seats, Bersih added.