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President wraps up talks on EC formation

AL agrees to make law

e-voting for free, fair election suggested

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12th-Jan-2017       
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Staff Reporter :
Ruling Awami League (AL) on Wednesday placed four-point proposal before the President Abdul Hamid over reconstitution of a new Election Commission (EC) that will conduct the next general election scheduled to be held in 2019.
At the same time AL is agreed to enact a law to reconstitute the EC.
However, the party said if the short span of time made it difficult to enact the law immediately it could be framed later for the future elections.
AL President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led the party's 19-member delegation in the talks held at the Darbal Hall of Bangabhaban at 4pm and she placed the proposal before President during the discussion.
"In the proposals we have requested the President that an ordinance can be promulgated or a law can be enacted to reconstitute the next EC," AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader told journalists at a press conference at party president's Dhanmondi office in the city yesterday.
However, he said if an ordinance cannot be promulgated or a law cannot be enacted immediately due to shortage of time, it could be framed later for the future elections.
Besides, he said the party also proposed introduction of e-voting system in the next national poll along with the existing rules and regulations in a bid to hold free, fair and impartial election and to ensure the voting rights of the people. "The president will take necessary steps on reforming the EC in due time using his constitutional power," Quader said.  President Abdul Hamid held dialogue as per the article 118 with AL as part of his move to take opinion of registered political parties over formation of a new EC.
The President wrapped up his talks with political parties through holding the meeting with AL yesterday. Since December 18 last year, the President held meetings with 22 political parties. He held his first talks with Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
Tenure of the incumbent Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad-led EC will be expired in February. In 2012, then late President Zillur Rahman appointed the incumbent CEC Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad to lead the five-member EC through a search committee after holding meetings with political parties.  Meanwhile, President's press secretary Joynal Abedin said AL submitted few proposals on the electoral system including election commission . . . one of the proposals suggested introduction of e-voting system in general elections.
"During the 90-minute meeting starting at 4.05 pm, the 19-member delegation comprising senior AL leaders, proposed enactment of a law in line with the constitution to appoint the CEC and other commissioners," he said. Joynal Abedin said the proposal for enacting a law was one of the common suggestions put forward by several other parties since the president initiated the talks on election commission last month.  "If possible, a suitable law can be made or an ordinance can be promulgated right now with a view to appointing the chief election commissioner and other commissioners," he quoted Sheikh Hasina as saying at the meeting.
Sheikh Hasina also said the President could appoint CEC and Election commissioners in whichever process he thinks suitable.
Sheikh Hasina reiterated her party's loyalty to the country's constitution and existing laws and regulations conveyed its "full confidence and trust to the deep wisdom and well-consideration of the honorable President's long political career".
He said Sheikh Hasina told the president that her party "doesn't want any controversy regarding election in the future".
"We want that whichever party is voted to power by the people in next elections will govern the country," he quoted the Sheikh Hasina as saying.The president, he said, on the other hand, told the ruling party delegation that he initiated the talks with political parties on the election commission as the role of the crucial constitutional body was vital in staging polls. "It will be possible to form a strong EC with the cooperation of all political parties," he quoted the president as saying.
Earlier during the talks, BNP put forward a set of proposals for the formation of a search committee and the new EC. It also placed proposal to strengthen the EC and amend the Representation of the People Order (RPO).
Jatiya Party (Ershad) gave a five-point proposal over constitution of the next EC and proposed making a law regarding constitution of the new EC. Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) laid emphasis on solving the problem through discussion and said it is not possible to solve the problem through enactment of a law. Krishak Sramik Janata League (KSJL) proposed formation of a neutral and strong EC and inclusion of woman representatives in the new commission.
Workers Party placed an eight-point proposal over the formation of a search committee and the EC. It also proposed including two women in the EC and formulating a law for the appointment of the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners.
Bangladesh Nationalist Front (BNF) placed a five-point proposal, including one for appointing election commissioners in phases to maintain continuity of the EC.
Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) placed an eight-point proposal and proposed formation of the EC with eight members instead of existing five members, and a search committee comprising qualified and neutral individuals. Jatiya Party (Manju) proposed appointing election commissioners in phases to maintain continuity of the EC.
Bangladesh Tarikat Federation (BTF) placed a 17-point proposal and proposed forming a search committee and the EC with the people having belief in the spirit of Liberation War. It also proposed enactment of a law as per the constitution to appoint election commissioners. Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP) placed a five-point proposal for formation of a search committee and the new EC.
Bangladesher Samyabadi Dal (BSD) proposed formation of a constitutional council comprising Prime Minister, Speaker, Chief Justice, Opposition Leader and Attorney General for proposing names of election commissioners to the President for the constitution of a new EC.
National Awami Party (NAP) put forward a 7-point proposal and proposed making a law as well as regulations for formation of the EC.
Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) placed a seven-point proposal and proposed enacting a law as per the constitution to appoint chief election commissioner and other commissioners without depending on the discussion with political parties.
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) placed a three-point proposal, including enactment of a law as a permanent solution to formation of EC.
Gano Forum placed a nine-point proposal while Ganotontri Party and Bangladesh Khelafat Andolan (BKA) put forward an eight-point proposal each for formation of a new EC. Gano Forum also proposed enacting a law as per the constitution to appoint election commissioners and ensure financial freedom of the EC.
Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) placed a three-point proposal and Islami Andolan Bangladesh (IAB) put forward a 7-point proposal for formation of new EC.
Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) placed a five-point proposal for over the formation of a search committee and the new EC. Its proposals include enacting a law as per the constitution to appoint election commissioners, constituting a nine-member EC instead of existing five members.
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Ambia) put forward a five-point proposal over the formation of a search committee and the new EC. Its proposals include forming a search committee with the heads of constitutional organizations and former Chief Election Commissioners.

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