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Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA)

  • 13 May 2022
  • 5 min read

Why in News?

Recently, India has been unanimously elected as the new Chair of the Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA) for 2022-2024 at the recently held meeting of the Executive board and General Assembly at Manila, Philippines.

  • The newly added members to the Executive board include Russia, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Taiwan and Philippines.

What is AAEA?

  • It was established in 1998 in pursuance of the resolution passed by participants of the Symposium on Asian Elections in the 21st century held from January 26-29, 1997 in Manila, Philippines.
  • Currently 20 Asian Election Monitoring Bodies are members of AAEA.
  • Election Commission of India is a founder member EMB of the AAEA and also served on the Executive Board of the AAEA as the Vice Chair during 2011-13 and Chair during 2014-16.
  • AAEA is also an Associate Member of the 118 member Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB).

What is the objective of AAEA?

  • To provide a non-partisan forum in the Asian region for sharing experiences and best practices among election authorities.
  • To discuss and act upon ways to promote open and transparent elections with the objective of supporting good governance and democracy.

What Role India Plays in AAEA?

  • India has regularly organised several international training programmes for the member countries at the International Institute for Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM).
    • The IIIDEM has been instrumental in training over 250 officials from AAEA member countries since 2019.
  • The ECI has also organized the International Election Visitors Programme and International Virtual Election Visitors Programme (IEVP), which was held during Assembly elections in 2022, for the member countries.

What is Election Commission of India?

  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) is a constitutional body envisaged to uphold the values of equality, equity, impartiality, independence enshrined in the Indian Constitution and the rule of law in superintendence, direction, and control over the electoral governance.
  • Part XV of the Indian constitution deals with elections, and provides for the establishment of the ECI.
  • Article 324 to 329 of the constitution deals with powers, function, tenure, eligibility, etc of the commission and the members.
  • The members of the ECI are appointed by the President of India based on the recommendations made by the Prime Minister.
    • However, Article 324(2) provides that the Parliament is entitled to enact legislation regarding the appointment of Election Commissioners (ECs).

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQ)

Q. Consider the following statements: (2017)

1. The Election Commission of India is a five-member body.

2. Union Ministry of Home Affairs decides the election schedule for the conduct of both general elections and bye-elections.

3. Election Commission resolves the disputes relating to splits/mergers of recognised political parties.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 3 only

Ans: (d)

  • According to the Article 324 of the Indian Constitution, the Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India. The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country.
  • Originally the Commission had only one Chief Election Commissioner. It currently consists of a Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • The Commission is vested with quasi-judicial power to settle disputes relating to splits/ mergers of recognised political parties. Hence, statement 3 is correct.
  • It decides the election schedules for the conduct of elections, whether general elections or bye-elections. Hence, statement 2 is not correct. Therefore, option (d) is the correct answer.

Source: PIB

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