Internal Democracy Within Parties:
After taking action against registered unrecognised political parties (RUPPs) for failing to comply with norms, the Election Commission is likely to take up the issue of internal democracy within parties next, according to EC sources.
- Though the Representation of the People Act does not mandate internal elections, the EC’s guidelines for parties applying for registration under the Act state that the applicant should submit a copy of the party constitution.
- “There should be a specific provision in the Constitution/rules and regulations/memorandum of the party regarding organisational elections at different levels and the periodicity of such elections and terms of office of the office-bearers of the party (sic),” the EC guidelines say.
- A top official said the EC would nudge parties to follow the internal democracy commitments.
- However, the Commission does not have the power to deregister parties that fail to comply with the rules.
- Though it has asked the Law Ministry for the power to deregister political parties in the past, the proposal has not been implemented so far.
- The focus on internal democracy of parties comes after the EC’s extensive drive since May to de-list RUPPs that had not kept the Commission informed of change in address, PAN, names of office-bearers and other details.