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CEC Says, Compulsory Voting In National Elections Not Feasible

Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla on Wednesday said it was "not feasible" to have compulsory voting in an election held on a national scale but left it to Parliament to decide. "If you ask me
PTI January 27, 2010 16:40 IST
PTI

Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla on Wednesday said it was "not feasible" to have compulsory voting in an election held on a national scale but left it to Parliament to decide.

"If you ask me is it feasible (to have compulsory voting) in a election on a national scale. It is not," he told reporters in Delhi on the sidelines of the Election Commission's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

However, he said it was for Parliament to discuss and debate in this regard and enact a law.

"I have to preface this by saying that it is for Parliament to debate, Parliament to discuss, Parliament to enact. Now, when that happens, we will see," said Chawla.

Moderating a session on 'Voter Education: New Ways and Alliances', Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi suggested that compulsory voting was undemocratic.

"Democracy and compulsion do not go hand-in-hand. Our stand is very clear, voter education is the key and not compulsion," he said.

 Among the two dozen delegates from the world over, only the representative from Thailand said that his country had compulsory voting.

Quraishi said that he would surely like to know how the system worked. PTI