People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 5

February 08, 2009


Reject CECís  Demand: CPI(M)

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) issued the following statement on February 1, 2009

THE suo moto recommendation by the chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami to remove one of the election commissioners, Navin Chawla, is out of bounds and can only damage the institution of the Election Commission.

The Election Commission plays a vital role in the constitutional scheme and in the parliamentary democratic system. The BJP and the Congress while in power have had a narrow approach of putting in place their pet bureaucrats to man the Commission which has led to the denigration of this independent body. Any suspicion that the members of this constitutional body are playing politics will harm the institution. The demand of the chief election commissioner should therefore be rejected.

The CPI(M) had argued for urgent reforms in the Election Commission in 2006. This arose after the bitter experience of the manner in which the Commission had conducted elections to the West Bengal Assembly in May 2006. One of the steps that needs to be taken is to bar former members of the Commission from taking up politically appointed positions or contesting elections.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) urges all political parties and citizens to consider the reforms necessary to safeguard the institution of the Election Commission.