AL may not want law on EC formation

Central Desk, PTB Website:

Election Commission

In talks with the president, 22 parties earlier called for legislation; Sheikh Hasina to lead her party delegation to Bangabhaban today

Although all the 22 political parties during their talks with President Abdul Hamid proposed enacting a law on formation of the Election Commission, the ruling Awami League might not agree to the proposal.

Instead, it might suggest that the president form a search committee to constitute the next EC, said AL sources, the Daily Star reported.

The president is scheduled to wrap up the dialogue on the EC formation through holding talks with the AL today.

A 19-member AL delegation, led by party chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is expected to join the meeting at the Bangabhaban at 4:00pm.

The dialogue process began on December 18. The political parties suggested the president should form a search committee to appoint the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners.

The tenure of Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad-led EC expires next month.

The 22 political parties, including the BNP, Jatiya Party and Workers Party, placed around 174 proposals before Hamid.

The party chiefs recommended that the president should take measures to make sure that the new EC can work independently from a separate secretariat and hold the next elections without any influence and control from the state’s executive branch.

Most of the political parties also proposed appointing a competent woman as an election commissioner. All of them urged the president to take measures to stop the use of black money and muscle power in elections.

Several political parties, including Workers Party, BNF and Jatiya Party (Manju), proposed forming of the EC in phases, meaning to retain some of the election commissioners and replace the others with new ones.

They observed that making a law was necessary to work out a permanent solution in this regard. The parties said they had full confidence in the president as he had acceptability and credibility.

Hamid hoped formation of a strong EC would be possible. He said consensus among political parties was a must for holding free and fair elections.

People’s confidence in the EC is important for holding a fair election, he added.

Among the political parties that took part in the dialogue are Liberal Democratic Party, Krishak Sramik Janata League, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Inu), Bangladesh Nationalist Front, Islami Oikya Jote, Bangladesh Jatiya Party, Tarikat Federation, Bangladesher Samyabadi Dal, Bangladesh National Awami Party, Communist Party of Bangladesh, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Rob), Gonotantri Party, Gonoforum, Khelafat Andolon, Bikalpadhara Bangladesh, Islami Andolon Bangladesh, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Ambia) and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal.

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