Election Commission of India Current Affairs - 2019

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EC to host 4th General Assembly of Association of World Election Bodies

Election Commission of India (ECI) is hosting 4th General Assembly of Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) at Bengaluru, Karnataka from 2 to 4, September, 2019. At the same time, India will take over as A-WEB’s Chair for 2019-21 term.

4th General Assembly of A-WEB

It will be presided by Chief election commissioner Sunil Arora. Its deliberations includes discussions on challenges and furthering partnership among election management bodies (EMB) and programmes to be undertaken by A-WEB in 2019-20. It will see participation of over 120 participants from 50 countries in various A-WEB events. It is said to be the largest congregation of EMB delegates in India.

Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB)

It is the largest and first global association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) worldwide. It was established in 2013 in Song-do, South Korea.. Its permanent secretariat is located at Seoul, South Korea. At present, it has 115 EMBs as Members & 20 Regional Associations/Organisations as Associate Members.

Under the slogan of ‘Democracy to Grow for All Worldwide’, its secretariat provides-

(i) Training programs for election officials of member nations

(ii) Undertakes country programs at request of member organization

(iii) Provides support during election cycle to boost election management capacity.

Cabinet approves Governor’s Rule in J&K for another 6 months

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the extension of President’s rule under article 356(4) of Indian Constitution, in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) for a period of 6 more months, beginning from 3 July 2019. The decision was based on prevailing situation in state as stated in report of Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Satya Pal Malik.

The present term of President’s Rule is expiring on 2 July 2019 but as recommended by J&K Governor, the President Rule in State may be extended for a further period of six months with effect from 3 July 2019 if it gets parliamentary approval.

Implementation: A resolution seeking approval of parliament for extending President’s Rule in J&K will be moved in both houses of parliament during the upcoming session.

Background

J&K was placed under Governor’s Rule after Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) pulled out of coalition government with J&K’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in June 2018. This Governor’s Rule was proclaimed under Section 92 of Constitution of J&K with concurrence of President of India.

It had resulted in Governor assuming to himself functions of Government as well as Legislature of J&K. During this time, State Assembly was initially suspended due to breaking of coalition government and was later dissolved by Governor in November 2018.

The President’s Rule under Article 356 of Indian Constitution was imposed in J&K after Governor’s rule imposed in June 2018 had ceased after six months period in December 2018.  It was imposed because under Section 92 of J&K Constitution, there is no provision for further continuation of such Proclamation after six months period. Later, resolution imposing President rules in J&K was approved by Parliament, (separately by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha).

Way Forward

The Election Commission of India (ECI) stated that under Article 324 of Indian Constitution and other extant laws/rules etc. it took unanimous decision of holding of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections later in this year. The EC now confirmed that election schedule for state will be announced after the conclusion of Amarnath Yatra in August 2019. The Commission will also keep regular and real-time monitoring of situation in J&K as well as taking inputs from all necessary quarters for successful conduction of election.

About President’s Rule

Article 356 of constitution of India empowers President to issue a proclamation of Present’s Rule (or State Emergency), if he is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which government of a state cannot be carried on in accordance with provisions of Constitution. Thus, President’s rule is also called Constitutional Emergency as it deals with failure of constitutional machinery in State. The President can act in accordance with or without the report of Governor of state.

President’s Rule in a state can continue for a period of 6 months at a time and after this period it can be extended for another term with approval of both houses of Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) but for a maximum period of 3 years.