Khaleda's formula to help President form strong EC: BNP

Khaleda’s formula to help President form strong EC: BNP


Dhaka – The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Wednesday said that its chairperson Khaleda Zia’s 13-point proposal will help the President constitute a stronger Election Commission that will not affect his image.
“Our proposals will help the President form the Election Commission keeping his image out of controversy. We want to clearly state that we didn’t try to undermine the President’s authority to appoint the Chief Election Commissioner and other commissioners through our proposals,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.Speaking at a press briefing, he also said, “We consider the President the highest symbol of the State. We call upon all stakeholders of the country, including the media, political parties and civil society members, to forge a national consensus on the basis of our chairperson’s proposals and work together to get rid of political crisis and ensure sustainable development.”
BNP arranged the press briefing at its Nayapaltan central office to respond to the criticisms of its chairperson Khaleda’s 13-point proposal by different ruling AL leaders and a section of the media.
“We’ve been encouraged as different media outlets are writing against and in favour of our proposals. It’s also our duty to give explanations to the questions raised over the proposals,” Fakhrul said.
He said they have made the proposals in the light of the Constitution. “So, we don’t think the Constitution has violated by putting forward the proposals.”
The BNP leader said they have also clearly mentioned in their proposals what they meant by consultation with all political parties. “The proposals were given considering the political reality.”
About BNP’s lack of interest regarding the enactment of a law on the formation of the EC, Fakhrul said as 154 MPs of the current Parliament are unelected, any law passed by the 10th Parliament may not be accepted by many political parties and people. “That’s why, if the registered political parties make the framework of the law and acxcept the same through a consensus and the law is drafted on its basis, it will be acceptable to us.”
About giving the army magisterial power during the polls, he said many people raised questions whether BNP wants martial law by advocating for such power to the army. “Deploying armed forces with magisterial power can no way be called as martial law as there is a scope to engage the armed forces to help the civil administration according to the Criminal Procedure Code – CRPC. So, there is no chance to create any confusion over the issue.”
According to past experiences, the BNP leader said if the army personnel are deployed at field level during the election it will help reduce violence, chaos, irregularities and vote rigging significantly. “We proposed giving the army magisterial power so that they can take immediate action, as no effective and satisfactory result is found by keeping the army as only striking force.”
Fakhrul urged all concerned not to buy time unnecessarily as installing a representative parliament is crucial for making a strong democratic structure in the country. “There’s no alternative to a neutral, courageous, and independent Election Commission for credible election and peaceful transfer of power.”
Asked whether their chairperson’s proposals can be implemented as there is not much time for reconstituting the EC, BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said it is possible to implement it in seven days if the government shows goodwill.
BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Mirza Abbas, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy and Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury were, among others, present. – UNB


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