AL turns down BNP's call for reconstituting EC on consensus

AL turns down BNP’s call for reconstituting EC on consensus


Dhaka – Awami League leader Dr Abdur Razzak at a roundtable here on Monday apparently turned down a call of BNP leader Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury to reach a national consensus over the reconstitution of the Election Commission saying it is very tough.
“I don’t know how there could be a national consensus. It’s very tough,” he said adding that the Prime Minister had talked to then opposition leader Khaleda Zia over telephone for 38 minutes in 2013 and the Prime Minister was also denied meeting the BNP chief after the death of Khaleda’s son. UNB news agency reported
AL presidium member Razzak, however, said the proposal to enact a law about the appointment of election commissioners can be considered.
Election Working Group (EWG), a platform of 28 civil society organisations, arranged the roundtable titled ‘Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners in Bangladesh’ at the Cirdap auditorium.
BNP standing committee member Amir Khasru said a national consensus is a must to make the election process transparent and it has to be permanent.
The BNP leader alleged that an ‘election project’ has been designed for being elected depriving the voters of their franchise through manipulated elections.
Abdur Razzak said the proposal for the new law regarding the appointment of election commissioners can be considered incorporating the provision of the search committee the President formed in 2012 following discussions.
Noting that incumbent Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad was a CSP officer who was never been involved in politics, the AL leader said the CEC is embodied of all qualities.
Urging all to keep trust in the President, he said he strongly believes the President will take steps in line with the Constitution to reconstitute an election commission in which all will have confidence.
Former election commissioner M Sakhawat Hossain said it is not possible to arrange a free and fair election without cooperation from political parties, the main stakeholder of the election process.
Jatiya Party (JP) presidium member Ziauddin Ahmed (Bablu) sad it is essential to reach a consensus among all political parties for flourishing democracy, he said. “We think there must be a fresh law regarding appointment of election commissioners.”
Local government expert Dr Tofail Ahmed expressed his frustration over the present situation questioning whether there is any need for democracy.
Presenting a paper, EWG director Abdul Alim proposed a legal framework for the EC’s reconstitution.
He proposed that a 7-member search committee, headed by a justice of the Appellate Division, will sit with all the registered political parties and seek their choices to propose three names against the CEC post and 15 names against other commissioner posts before the President, ho will finally appoint the CEC and other commissioners from among the given names.


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