Eight parties back army deployment during polls

Sun Online Desk

16th September, 2017 08:51:31 printer

Eight parties back army deployment during polls

Most of the 10 registered political parties which have already joined the Election Commission's ongoing dialogue suggested the deployment of army and dissolution of parliament ahead of the 11th national election.


Out of the 10 parties, eight proposed the Commission to deploy the army during the next general election, while one party (Bangladesh Sangskritik Muktijote-Muktijote) suggested that the army can be engaged, if necessary. The remaining one party (Islamic Front Bangladesh) is silent over the issue, reports UNB.


About the dissolution of parliament, seven parties recommended that parliament be dissolved ahead of the general election, while three others --Muktijote, Bangladesh Islamic Front and Bangladesh Kalyan Party-is mum about it.


The Election Commission (EC) on August 24 last started its dialogue with 40 registered political parties to receive their opinions over its preparation for the next parliamentary elections likely to be held in December 2018.


So far, 10 parties joined the dialogues -- five each in the 1st phase (Aug 24 to 30) and 2nd phase (Sept 10-14), nut two parties did not take part in the EC's talks.


The third phase of dialogues with eight other political parties will begin on Sunday (Sept 17). And the ongoing talks with the political parties will end by October next as per the EC's existing plan.


About the election-time government, only three parties proposed installation of election-time non-partisan government, while five others suggested bringing some key ministries, including the public administration, home and local government ministries under the authority of EC during the next national polls. The rest two parties -Islamic Front Bangladesh and Kalyan Party- did place any opinion in this regard.


The three parties that suggested non-partisan election-time government are Bangladesh Muslim League-BML, Khelafat Majlish and Jatiya Ganotantrik Dal (Jagpa). They are components of the BNP-led 20-party alliance.


The five parties that recommended bringing some key ministries under the Commission are Muktijote, Biplabi Workers Party, Bangladesh Islamic Front, Islami Andolan Bangladesh and Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish.


Talking about electronic voting machines (EVMs), the five parties asked the Election Commission to refrain from the use of EVMs in the next national general election. Two of the parties proposed introducing the electronic machines in local government election first on pilot basis.


But one party -- Islamic Front Bangladesh-- wanted introduction of EVMs in the next national election, while four others did not place any proposal over it.


Only two parties -Biplobi Workers Party and Islamic Front Bangladesh-proposed the Commission to restore 'No Vote' provision in the parliamentary elections.


Besides, most of the participating parties suggested curbing black money and muscle power and ensuring a level-playing field for all during the election.


Islami Front proposed the Commission to scrap a legal provision that obliges the registered political parties to keep at least 33 percent positions reserved for women in their all committees by 2020.


As per Article 90B of the Representation of the People Order (RPO) 1972, a registered political party will have to fix the goal of reserving at least 33 per cent of all committee positions for women, including the central committee and successively achieving this goal by 2020.


Also Khelafat Majlish sought extension of the deadline for political parties to reach the target of ensuring 33 percent women in their committees at all levels.


Earlier, the Commission held dialogues with civil society members on July 31 and media persons on August 16 and 17.


Most of the participant civil society members and media persons also suggested the EC to deploy the army during the next national election, while many of them proposed restoration of 'No Vote' provision in the polls.


Besides, they recommended the Commission to earn people's trust through making their activities visible as an independent body.