Eighth Annual National Conference on Political and Electoral Reform: 5th & 6th May 2012 in Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Topic: National Conference on Electoral and Political Reform

The Eighth National Conference on Electoral & Political Reforms, inaugurated by the Election Commissioner Shri H.S.Brahma, concluded on the 6th of May 2012. This two-day Conference was attended by Election Watch groups of more than 22 States, various NGOs and activists, eminent citizens, media personalities, representatives of all major political parties and other Stakeholders from all over the country

Discussions took place on various aspects of the Electoral and Political issues, particularly the issues concerning financial transparency and inner-party democracy of the political parties. Concerns were also expressed on the increasing role of media in electoral mal-practices and its impact on news coverage. 

Resolution passed at the National Conference

Documents distributed during the National Conference:

  1. Draft Bill to regulate the working of political parties
  2. Analysis of Criminal-Financial and other details of MPs of Odisha
  3. Analysis of Criminal-Financial and other details of MLAs of Odisha
  4. Odisha's Annual Budget analysis
  5. Analysis of working of Odisha Assembly
  6. Analysis of donations to political parties
  7. Analysis of income of political parties
  8. One high level summary of all Election Watches till date
  9. Report on the Election Expenses of MLAs elected in the 5 Assembly Elections of 2012
  10. FAQ on filing of election expenses and election petitions
  11. FAQ on Rule 49-O
  12. 2 pager on why political parites should be be declared as public authorities
  13. 2 pager on why MPs' IT return should be in public domain
Some presentations made at the conferences
  1. Mr. P.K. Dash, D.G., Election Commission of India, presentation on " Money Power in the Elections".( PPT )
  2. Mr. Bhagban Prakash, Senior advisor, Election Commission of India, presentation on " Youth and Democracy" ( PPT )

The Conference unanimously resolved:

  • Candidates with Criminal ancedents should be debarred from contesting elections.
  •  There is an urgent need for a comprehensive Bill to regulate the functioning of  Political Parties to ensure inner party democracy and financial transparency within the political parties.
  • The internal elections for the offices of political parties should be done using secret ballot and the culture of unanimous selection of the office bearers must stop.
  • The ticket distribution process of the political parties should be made transparent and should be decided by the registered members of political parties.
  • The accounts of the political parties should be audited by the CAG appointed auditors.
  • The Political Parties should be declared as Public Authorities so that their functioning could be transparent  and be made more accountable.
  • Strict Laws should be passed to punish candidates involved in Electoral malpractices, particularly for buying of votes.
  • Implement ceiling on expenses of Political Parties during election period.
  • Strict Action against candidates who fail to file their election expenses.
  • There should be a cooling off period of of 5 years before which beauracrats or people who have changed their parties are allowed to contest elections on tickets of a political party.
  • The requirement for winning election should be “50% + 1 of the registered votes cast.
  • Voting machines should have the option of “None of the above”. If the election in a constituency results in “None of the above” getting the maximum number of votes, there should be a re-poll and the candidates who contested  

 Find below the Press Coverage of the Eighth National Conference

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English

Hindi

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