Appoint ECs through collegium system: Ex-CEC

Last Updated 28 March 2019, 10:10 IST

Former chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi on Thursday suggested that there should be a collegium system to appoint election commissioners on the lines of selection of judges, chief information commissioner and chief vigilance commissioner.

Talking to PTI, he said fingers have been raised against the Election Commission recently and that this will not happen if the appointment of election commissioners is done through a collegium system.

"It is unfair on them (Election Commissioners) also even if they are doing things bonafide and if somebody raises finger, it is demoralising," Quraishi said.

Election Commissioners are currently appointed by the government.

"So, there should be a collegium system for such appointments, through consultations at Collegium like it happens in Judiciary, CIC and CVC," he said.

The former chief election commissioner said time had also come to debate the first-past-the-post electoral system.

According to him, there was a referendum in the United Kingdom on this system and that there was going to be another one.

"They (the UK) want to change the system to -- half first-past-the-post and another half proportional representation," Quraishi said.

There can be a political consensus in India to introduce this kind of system, he said.

Quraishi noted that during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BSP secured 20 per cent of total votes polled in Uttar Pradesh, but did not win a single seat, terming it "patently undemocratic and not a real representative democracy".

He also called for the creation of a national electoral fund to which donors can contribute and get tax benefits in return, and that the collected funds should be distributed as per the poll performance of political parties.

"Parties should be paid based on actual performance," he said, recommending state funding of elections.

(Published 28 March 2019, 09:57 IST)

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