Appointments and Removal Process of the Election Commissioners and Trust Deficit Among Political Parties

Published: May 9, 2019

Often it is said that the root problem of trust deficit of opposition parties especially the regional parties towards Election Commission lies at the flawed system of appointment of Election Commissioners.

The Root Problem

  • The Election Commissioners are appointed unilaterally by the government of the day.
  • The governments for long haven’t paid heed to the suggestion that the appointment must take place through a broad-based consultation, as is done in other countries.
  • Further the uncertainty over elevation as chief election commissioner by seniority makes them vulnerable to government pressure.
  • Further the government can control a defiant CEC through the majority voting power of the two Election Commissioners.

Even the Law Commission of India in its 255th report recommended a collegium system for appointing Election Commissioners, the successive ruling dispensations have persistently ducked the issue not wanting to let go of their power. The political and electoral interests have take precedence over national interest. The things may change with the judicial intervention as the constitution bench of the Supreme Court is hearing the public interest litigation on the issue.

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