Bersih 2.0 international bureau formed to express solidarity in global democratic struggle

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Graphic: Clker-Free-Vector-Images/Pixabay

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (Bersih 2.0) announces the establishment of the Bersih 2.0 international bureau (B2IB) for the purpose of extending solidarity support to people’s movements campaigning for free and fair elections and democracy in any part of the world.

We believe the improvement of free and fair elections and democracy in any part of the world will contribute to a more open, transparent, participatory and just society, not only for the country concerned but also for the global community.

It is also the firm belief of Bersih 2.0 that any expression or action for free and fair elections and democracy is a basic human right and must be respected and upheld. This is consistent with Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that states:

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives

(2) Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country

(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

As part of the international civil society community and a beneficiary of international solidarity support, Bersih 2.0 has the obligation to extend solidarity and support to individuals or movements in any part of the world that share the same ideals and campaign for free and fair elections and democracy in a peaceful manner.

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Global solidarity is much needed at the present time as we are witnessing a pushback on democracy by authoritarianism and militarism that is fuelled by right-wing and nationalistic populism.

In view of limitations of resources, human power and the multitude of occurrences globally on a daily basis, we will only issue statements of solidarity for free and fair elections and democracy in other parts of the world on the following criteria as its guidance:

  • The core issue involved in the incident is manifestly about free and fair elections and democracy
  • The incident is in contradiction with the spirit, principles and practices of free and fair elections and democracy and in gross violation of human rights of those campaigning for it
  • The incident has caused serious injuries and even death of persons who are fighting for free and fair elections and democracy
  • The curtailment of free and fair elections and democracy must be of mass scale, widespread and systemic in nature
  • The incident has potential negative impacts or implications for free and fair elections and democracy in Malaysia or in the region or categories of nations where Malaysia is located.
  • If an incident meet three out of the five criteria listed above, the international bureau will recommend to the Bersih 2.0 steering committee that it issues a press statement to express our solidarity and areas of concern

The Bersih 2.0 international bureau will also take into consideration geographical priority in the order of neighbouring countries, other South East Asian countries, other Asia-Pacific countries and any other part of the world in its operation.

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Bersih 2.0 steering committee

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