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Greens reject partisan political interference in Australian Electoral Commission

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 10 Apr 2014

The Labor and Coalition's call to scrap the Australian Electoral Commission and replace it with a politically partisan board will be a blow to fair and independent elections said Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.

"The Australian Electoral Commission must be maintained as an impartial and independent administrator, not one which sings to the tune of the Government of the day, which is where the major parties want to take it," said Senator Rhiannon.

"During November Senate estimates, the Australian Electoral Commission explained the difficulties in finding qualified staff. Instead of ignoring this, the Coalition should be looking at providing adequate resources to the Australian Electoral Commission to help retain skills, staff and experience.

"Labor and the Coalitions plans are similar to recent Canadian legislation that reduced the independence of the electoral administration. In Canada 160 concerned experts added their name to a call to stop the legislation that was rushed through Parliament by the Conservative government.

"While the Australian Electoral Commission does need to explain and be held to account for the incidents that led to a Senate election re-run in Australia, the Coalition and Labor are using this as an excuse to further their own agenda and as a result wind back democracy," said Senator Rhiannon.

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