Election Commission says government move to scrap election offices unconstitutionalIn an all-party meeting, the commission said it will not be able to take responsibility if questions regarding the legitimacy of the elections arise following the implementation of the decision.
The Election Commission has drawn the attention of the political parties to rectify the government’s decision to ‘scrap’ district election offices.
The commission held an all-party meeting on Friday and expressed its objection to the government move stating that it is contrary to the constitution and the election law.
The government, through its budget for the fiscal year 2023-24, announced it’d ‘scrap’ the district election offices and put the election-related works under the jurisdiction of district administration offices.
The Election Commission and experts have taken serious exception to the government move, accusing the authorities of trying to infringe on the rights of autonomous institutions.
The government, however, says it decided to limit the District Election Offices to a small unit within the respective District Administration Offices in a bid to cut costs and now plans to have only one employee as a focal person of the election body at the administration office. All other positions in the district election office will be scrapped.
The Election Commission, during the meeting, said that the commission will not be able to take responsibility if questions regarding the legitimacy of the elections arise following the implementation of the decision.
“The government’s decision [to ‘scrap’ the district election offices] is contrary to the principle of balance of power, control and separation of powers, the constitution and the law,” the commission said.
The Commission also said that if no amendment is carried out to rectify the government’s proposal, all the activities that are being conducted by the district election offices regarding election management will be stopped from July 16.