Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal has rejected a claim that the Election Commission (EC) has taken advice from foreign envoys about the next general election.
“They (diplomats) came to the Election Commission as part of traditional visit, but they did not give any piece of advice on the polls,” he said.
Kazi Awal also held talks with Bangladesh Khelafat Andolon (BKA), Jatiya Party (JP) and Islamic Front Bangladesh on the same day.
Earlier, a 16-member delegation of JSD, led by JSD president Hasanul Haq Inu, alleged that some foreign diplomats had been interfering in the work of the EC by going against the diplomatic etiquette.
They also opined that the EC should not indulge in such ‘unwanted snooping against diplomatic etiquette’.
“When the election comes, different people come to meet us. Such a visit is a traditional one,” said the CEC.
In response to JSD’s proposal not to arbitrate on political matters by the EC, Awal said, “We are saying from the beginning that we will invite everyone fairly. We cannot force anyone to come to the polls as it is not our responsibility.”
During the dialogue with BKA, a religion-based political party, they demanded abolishment of women reserve seats from Parliament and not to impose any condition that goes against the Quran and Sunnah.
According to their 40-point demands signed by BKA Chairman Ataullah Hafezzi, since women have the opportunity to participate in the elections directly, there is no justification for reserved seats in parliament.
“This system is discriminatory, so let it be abolished,” the party said.
The party also demanded that Electronic Voting Machine should not be used in the elections.
They also claimed that people do not have a clear idea about use of EVM. There is a debate in the country and abroad about use of EVM.
“So don’t make the national election questionable by using EVM,” it said.
The party also demanded that the process of filing nomination papers should be made easier.
“Provisions and arrangements for filing nomination papers in the parliamentary elections should also be made online,” BKA said.