The Jatiya Party has proposed enacting a law in line with constitution to form the Election Commission and appoint the chief and other election commissioners.
The main opposition in parliament made the proposal at the first meeting of a dialogue with political parties initiated by President Abdul Hamid on Monday.
The president started the much anticipated dialogue on the formation of the next Election Commission at Bangabhaban.
An eight-member delegation of Jatiya Party participated in the hour-long dialogue with the President from 4.20pm at Bangabhaban, President’s Press Secretary Joynal Abedin said.
Welcoming the delegation, President Hamid said that Election Commission is a very important part in the election process.
“The five-year tenure of the incumbent Commission, led by Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda, will expire on February 14 next. So the dialogue has been organised to form an acceptable Election Commission,” he said.
The president hoped that it will be possible to form an acceptable EC on the opinion and suggestion of the political parties. The new EC will be able to conduct a free and fair election from national election to local election, he also hoped.
President Hamid also sought the support from all political parties and civil society in this process.
Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader, head of the delegation, presented a three point proposal to the president to form a free and neutral Election Commission during the discussion.
Quader thanked the president for holidng such a discussion aiming to form the new EC.
The delegation proposed the enactment of a law in line with constitution as there exists no law as required under Article 118(1) of the constitution to form the commission and appoint the chief and other election commissioners.
The delegation said an ordinance can be issued if formulating a law for its formation is not possible right now.
They also said if making a law and issuing an ordinance for its formation are not possible right now, an acceptable ‘Search Committee’ can be formed for constituting the next EC.
The delegation also assured the president of their all-out support in this initiative of forming EC.
The other members of the delegation were Senior Co- Chairman Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud, Secretary General Mujibul Haque, Co- Chairman ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader, Kazi Firoz Rashid, Syed Abul Hossain Babla, Salma Islam, Chief Whip of main opposition party and Presidium member Mashiur Rahman Ranga.
Currently there are 39 registered political parties, according to the EC website. But only nine parties have representation in Parliament.
The nine parties are Bangladesh Awami League, Jatiya Party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Bangladesh Workers Party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal-Jasod, Bikalpadhara Bangladesh, Ganoforum, Bangladesh Tarikat Federation and Jatiya Party-JP.
In December 2016, President Abdul Hamid had a series of talks with the registered political parties over the EC’s reconstitution that began with the first meeting with a delegation of BNP.
Later, a six-member search committee was formed to recommend names for the chief election commissioner and election commissioners.
The search committee sought five names from every political party. The committee later submitted 10 names before the president.
The president finally formed the present commission-headed by KM Nurul Huda. Then the CEC and other commissioners took oath on February 15, 2017.
As per the constitution, the EC should be formed under a law, but this law has not been enacted yet in Bangladesh.
The new election commission will have to arrange the 12th national election from November 2023 to January 2024.