We sincerely welcome the president’s initiative, as his office said, to hold a dialogue with all the political parties to constitute the next election commission. The president has taken the initiative in order to form a new commission as per Article 118 of the constitution. We consider this to be good news and we wholeheartedly wish his initiative success.
The current commission is set to expire in February 2017. In such a context, there is no alternative to constitution of a new election commission by this time.
The chairperson of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party has recently presented a 13-point proposal for the formation of a new, stronger EC. The proposal includes formation of a search committee and the election commission following talks with all political parties.
The ruling party initially showed a negative attitude but the prime minister later said the matter is the president's jurisdiction. Political observers see this as an indication for holding dialogue.
We think dialogue is the best means of resolving any political or national crisis. At the table of discussion, contending parties can know each other and debates provide opportunity to come to a solution.
Although the president is the ceremonial head of the state, he is the symbol of national unity. The president is elected through party nomination, but he then no longer belongs to any political party. The current president attained confidence of the treasury and opposition bench members in parliament. We strongly believe, his initiative this time around will also be successful.
The president is, as the news has come out, going to invite all registered political parties to the dialogue. This will bring an end to debates surrounding Jamaat-e-Islami, which is no longer a registered political party.
Yet, whether the dialogue will be successful or not depends on the mindset of the political parties. If they come up with a rigid mindset, the dialogue will not bring any positive outcome. If they are willing to listen to each other and they are sincere about looking for an acceptable formula, a solution will not be impossible. It will not be difficult to find five qualified, efficient and neutral persons as the chief election commissioner and commissioners (four) to hold free and fair general elections in the country.