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PUBLISHED: Sep 21, 2014 8:07pm

Bersih: Changing the rules will prolong crisis

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MICHAEL MURTY By:
Michael Murty

Bersih 2.0 head Maria Chin Abdullah says parliamentary democracy will collapse if the majority cannot determine its nominee to be the Menteri Besar.

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21, 2014:

Bersih 2.0 called upon all parties to respect the rules of the game enshrined in the established Westminster constitutional conventions and the Selangor State Constitution regarding the selection of Menteri Besar.

The regulations, she explained in a statement, stipulated that any assemblyman must “command the confidence of the majority of the members of the assembly”.

The electoral reform group’s head Maria Chin Abdullah said this therefore made it the Sultan’s constitutional duty to subsequently appoint the MB in accordance with Article 53(2)(a) of Selangor State Constitution.

She said Bersih 2.0 remained confident that His Royal Highness would act correctly according to the Constitution to appoint Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who enjoyed the support of 30 assemblymen, which was an “unquestionable majority” in the 56-seat Selangor State Assembly.

“Changing the rules will undoubtedly prolong and worsen the constitutional crisis and hurt every party’s long-term interests.”

She said parliamentary democracy would collapse if the majority could not determine their nominee to be the head of government.

Elections then would cease to be meaningful and extra-constitutional means may be attractive to all parties in the prolonged power struggle, destabilising the nation, she said.

Chin said the Westminster parliamentary system functioned with a straightforward chain of responsibility between electorate, legislature and executive to ensure responsible government.

The executive is elected by and responsible to the legislature, which in turn is elected by and responsible to the electorate. In turn, the legislature may fire the executive and the electorate may in turn punish the legislature in the next election.

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