EC urges patience, denies any ‘tricks’ in counting process

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PUTRAJAYA: The Election Commission (EC) has urged the people to be patient and insists that there are no “tricks up their sleeves” in the vote counting process.

“The rakyat are waiting and we understand, give us some time to give an official result when everything is confirmed,” its chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah (pic) said at a press conference chaired by top EC officials on Thursday.

He added that news about unofficial results were from party agents on duty at polling centres and were unverified.

“It is the EC’s responsibility to only issue verified results,” he said.

He said various factors caused the delay, such as the remoteness of some voting centres in interior rural areas.

When asked about accusations that returning officers refused to sign Form 14 – which would declare the winners – he said that was mere speculation.

“Don’t say the EC is getting in the way or does not want to announce it, as you can see, we are still waiting,” Mohd Hashim said.

He confirmed that as of 5pm Wednesday (May 9), voter turnout was at 76%, lower than the expected 85%.

On the issue of voters being denied their right to cast their ballots after the 5pm cut-off time despite being in the queue, he admitted that due to the number of people ahead of them, those who came later did not get to vote.

“We will do a post-mortem and see how we can improve this,” he said, adding that it only affected several polling stations.

He also denied that this would reduce the legitimacy of the election results.

Asked about Tun Dr Mahathir’s announcement that Pakatan Harapan had already won the polls, he said, “As I said, wait for the EC’s official results”.

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