Gono Forum for Community Law, Bikalpa Dhara agrees to be part of the research committee
In Sunday’s presidential talks, the Gono Forum demanded that a law be drafted on the formation of the Election Commission (EC) in accordance with the Constitution, while Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh, supporting a search committee, proposed three names for this one.
In the evening, a seven-member delegation led by Mokabbir Khan, executive chairman of the Gono Forum, taking part in a dialogue in Bangabhaban, said the party wanted a law to be enacted to form and reorganize the EC in the light of the Constitution. , keeping intact the spirit of independence, democracy and the war of liberation.
At the same time, they demanded that regulations be formulated to ensure a non-partisan and neutral role of government institutions, including public administrations and police, Mokabbir said.
Mahi B Chowdhury, member and spokesperson of the Presidium of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh, said: “We think it is important to have a law for the formation of the electoral commission. The President agreed with us in this regard, but such an important law should not be enacted in such a short time. It will not reflect the hopes and aspirations of the people.
He said they mentioned forming a search committee as an alternative, adding that they came up with three names for it: former adviser to a caretaker government Rokeya Afzal Rahman, former cabinet secretary Mohammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and the eminent scholar Dr Muhammad Zafar Iqbal.
The delegation of seven members of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh was led by its Secretary General Abdul Mannan.
The search committee will be responsible for compiling a list of a potential chief electoral commissioner and other electoral commissioners.
BNP, Gono Forum (faction led by Mostafa Mohsin Montu), Communist Party of Bangladesh, Socialist Party of Bangladesh and Islami Andolan have said the dialogue will not yield any fruitful results.
Boycotting the talks, the BNP said on Saturday that the crisis was not about the formation of the EC but rather about a government at election time.
“The twelfth national election will be useless if it takes place under the leadership of the ruling Awami League. There must be an interim government at election time, which will constitute an EC to conduct the national election,” the journalists BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Likewise, Islami Andolon presented on Saturday a charter of demands in seven points, including the call for a government during the elections.
So far, 10 of the 16 political parties, which were invited in the first phase, have joined the talks.
The president began dialogue on December 18 with the Jatiya party, the main opposition in parliament.
He is expected to meet with 31 of the 39 political parties registered with the EC before appointing the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and other commissioners.
The president must form a new EC before the expiration of the mandate of the existing commission on February 14, 2022. The new EC will conduct the next national elections.
With the interim government abolished in 2011 by a constitutional amendment, the last two national elections have been held under the leadership of the ruling Awami League.
In both cases, registered political parties joined talks over forming the EC and came up with names for it, although many have subsequently raised allegations of electoral fraud in subsequent national polls.
The term of the current EC will end on February 14 of this year and the new one, according to the constitution, must be appointed before that date. The new commission will hold the next general election in December 2023 or early 2024.