“There are three major challenges. I think all the election commissions in the world including your election commission (the EC of Bangladesh) have to overcome these three main obstacles to hold a free and fair election,” Deputy Election Commissioner (DEC) Umesh Sinha told a group of visiting Bangladeshi journalists at the IEC headquarter in Indian capital of New Delhi.
Talking about influence of fictitious media reports on election, he said some media run fabricated news to bring the election environment in favour of, or against, somebody.
“In our country, a section of media – especially local TV channels in district level – try to influence the mind of voters as well as the electoral scenario by saying that somebody is winning or leading the polls,” he observed.
In reply to a query over the appointment procedure of election commissioners in India, the Indian DEC said senior civil servants having proven integrity and experience are appointed as election commissioners.
“The chief election commissioner is appointed by the President. And the senior most civil servants of the country are appointed usually after their retirement. The main criterion is that the officers must have proven honesty, integrity and experience,” Umesh Sinha said.
“In India, fortunately all the CECs have proved themselves and undergone the tests of time,” he claimed.
Observing that election commissioners in India enjoy full constitutional safeguard, he said, “There is no influence from any ruling party or ruling government. All decisions are taken independently by the EC. And all political parties have total confidence in Election Commission.”
The DEC claimed that the EC doesn’t hesitate to take any tough action against anybody in case of any irregularity during the election.