The Bersih co-chairman said Najib’s pledge to ensure a peaceful transition of power was a “given”, particularly in a country that claims to practice “true democracy”.
“It is good that he reiterated it but that is a given in any true democracy... the fact that democracy must be respected,” she told The Malaysian Insider this afternoon, shortly after Najib announced the dissolution of Parliament.
“But what we want to see now is a healthy campaign and a level playing field for all contesting parties, whether in the matter of access to media or on political violence.
“We do not want to see dirty politics and we hope that all parties will be on their highest, most ethical level of conduct,” Ambiga said.
The influential civil rights activist added that it may partly have been public pressure that had led Najib to outline his team’s willingness to surrender power should they lose at the polls, noting that many leaders in the opposition have already been demanding that the prime minister make the commitment.
“Public pressure does wonderful things,” said Ambiga, who is known for her role in leading several mammoth rallies in the streets of the capital to demand clean and fair polls.
In his televised address to announce Parliament’s dissolution this morning, Najib promised that there would be a peaceful transition of power should there be a change in the federal government after the 13th general election.