Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Bersih mulls new strategies for electoral reforms push

KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — The Bersih movement will evaluate future strategies this Friday, two weeks after organising sit-in rallies across Malaysia and the world pressing for electoral reforms before the next general election.

The 84 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) making up the electoral reforms group will evaluate new strategies and fresh ideas for its national campaign for clean and fair elections.

Representatives from 14 of the NGOs said today they will continue to “lobby, educate and demand” until free and fair elections are a reality.

Association of Women Lawyers in Malaysia (AWL) president Meera Samanther acknowledged the negative reports on Bersih as portrayed by local mainstream media and said, “Bersih making a difference that’s why there is a reaction.”

She also dismissed reports that last month’s Bersih 3.0 rally in central KL had been hijacked by opposition leaders, saying “Free and fair elections go in everyone’s favour, even BN.”

“Any organisation that calls for free and fair elections is not hijacking Bersih. It is on par with Bersih’s demands,” she stressed.

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director Ivy Josiah mirrored her colleague’s sentiments, saying “One or two politicians do not compensate for the 250,000 who had participated in the rally.”

“Keep it in perspective. Give due respect to the large number of people who had turned up in support of Bersih and its demands,” she added.

The NGOs also urged the Election Commission (EC) to clean up the electoral roll before the next general election is held.

They also called for international observers to “monitor and witness the election process to assure it is clean and fair”.

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