Thursday, 20 January, 2022

Talks on EC reconstitution begin today

President sits with JP on first day

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 20 December, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Talks on EC reconstitution begin today

The much-talked about talks with the registered political parties of the country on the reconstitution of a new Election Commission (EC) begins today.

President Abdul Hamid has invited the political parties to have opinions in reconstituting a new EC, which will oversee the next parliamentary elections slated for 2023.

The President has taken the move as the tenure of the incumbent EC led by Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda is going to end on February 14 next year.

On the first day, the President will sit with the main opposition in Parliament Jatiya Party at Bangabhaban in the capital at 4:00pm.

An eight-member delegation led by JP chairman GM Quader will attend the talks, party sources said.

JP secretary general Mujibul Haque Chunnu said they will place a demand to the President for framing a new law in reconstituting the EC.

“We will join the talks in time. Our demands are yet to be finalised but we will propose that the President take a move to frame a law for the formation of Election Commission,” he said.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is unlikely to join the talks keeping its convicted chairperson Khaleda Zia at hospital.

Over the talks, President’s press secretary Joynal Abedin told reporters that letters have been sent to the political parties.

“The talks will begin with Jatiya Party while the President will sit with Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal on December 22,” he said.

Sources say that Bangabhaban has a plan to complete discussion with the political parties within three weeks.   There are some 39 registered political parties, according to the EC. 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.

Such practice over formation of the EC was introduced in 2012.

As per the constitution, it is the jurisdiction of the President to appoint the CEC and other Election Commissioners. The constitution stipulates that a law has to be framed to reconstitute EC. But past successive governments have not been able to enact a law in the last 50 years.

This is for the third time that the President is holding talks with the registered political parties.

The new EC will arrange the 12th national election while the government will provide all-out support in holding the polls in a free, fair and credible manner.

In December 2016, President Abdul Hamid also held a series of talks with the registered political parties over the EC reconstitution and then formed a six-member search committee to recommend names for the CEC and election commissioners.

The search committee sought five names from every political party. The committee later submitted 10 names before the President to appoint CEC and election commissioners among them.

The President finally formed the present EC headed by KM Nurul Huda. Then the CEC and other commissioners took oath on February 15, 2017.

In 2012, then President Zillur Rahman constituted Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad-led Election Commission through a search committee after holding talks with the political parties.