PUTRAJAYA — Aug. 29, 2018: The Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) is to study a proposal for the Election Commission to take over from the Registrar of Societies (RoS) the authority to register and regulate political parties.
This is one of the 15 proposals the committee is looking into.
Committee chairman Tan Sri Ab. Rashid Ab. Rahman said ERC will study the legal framework for the establishment of a credible body to manage elections.
“We will suggest the establishment of an appropriate organisation. It can be the EC, it can be anything else, depending on what the country wants to call it but I believe we will still call it the EC.”
The committee will also study the election systems of other countries that can be used to improve the existing first-past-the-post system to make it on par with international standards.
It will also seek out the foreign organisations which can assist in studying the systems applied in older democracies in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
“For example, the system of proportionate representation. If a party secures 60 per cent of the votes, it gets 60 per cent of the seats. However, we have a parliament and state legislatures; it will depend on our study,” said Rashid.
The committee will also study a proposal to formulate a law on the steps to set up a caretaker government following the dissolution of Parliament and the state assemblies.
There are proposals by NGOs such as Bersih 2.0 for automatic registration of voters and for the reduction of the voting age from 21 to 18.
Another area being looked at is to have laws to control the finances and election expenditure, including contributions from the government, private sector and society.
The ERC, comprising 15 members, was set up undertake a comprehensive study of the electoral system and laws in the country and make recommendations to be submitted to the government within two years. — Bernama