Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is closely ‘observing’ the election roadmap announced by the Election Commission ahead of the next parliamentary election.
The Election Commission (EC) has drafted a roadmap for the next general election and decided to begin dialogues with the political parties this July to get their opinions on different issues, including a reform of electoral laws and delimitation of constituencies.
The commission has announced the draft roadmap without any mention of electronic voting machine (EVM) or digital voting machine (DVM) for the 11th national polls at a press briefing at its office in the capital's Agargaon on May 23.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda told reporters that the constitutional body is ready for the general polls to be held at anytime.
The roadmap consists of seven points, including re-demarcation of constituency, review of the electoral law, voter list update, new voter registration, enhancement of EC’s power at vote centre and ensuring level playing field for all.
Asked about the EC’s draft roadmap, BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said, “Of course, we are observing the election roadmap of the EC as we are a major political party.”
“We will take decision about the roadmap and the commission’s dialogue initiative after holding meeting of the party forum,” he told daily sun.
Mosharraf further said, “My personal opinion is that whatever the roadmap is, the Commission’s first responsibility is to ensure a level-playing field and neutral poll-time government. Otherwise, no roadmap will work.”
Talking to daily sun, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia recently said they are working to make the formula of poll-time supportive government and will place it immediately.
BNP leaders said Khaleda Zia will place the poll-time government formula after the month of Ramadan.
Mosharraf at a programme recently said the country’s people will come up with strong resistance if the government tries to hold any ‘unilateral’ election like January 5 of 2014.
Another BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed at a programme on Friday said, “This EC is subservient to the government … They have given the roadmap to hold another one-party election.”
BNP insiders said the party is now closely observing the overall process of the roadmap announced by the EC. The party is now determining their role and demands in the upcoming dialogue of the commission.
If the EC does not respond to the BNP’s demand, then the party will try to take to the street to force the government and the EC to arrange the next national polls as per their desire, sources said.
“BNP wants to take part in the next parliament election anyway. It will try to realise its maximum demands for joining the polls. The party will compel the government to hold the next national polls as per their desire,” said a senior leader of BNP.
He said BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has already directed some senior party leaders, including secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and Jamiruddin Sircar, to analyse the election roadmap.