The election commission (EC) is holding dialogues with political parties ahead of 12th parliamentary election. Four parties were scheduled to take part in dialogue with the EC today but Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) did not come.
Islamic Front Bangladesh, Khelafat Andolon Bangladesh and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Jasad) held separate meetings with the EC.
A 15-strong delegation of Jasad, a component of Awami League led 14 party alliance, led by Hasanul Haque Inu took part in the meeting
Inu and general secretary Shirin Akhter spoke on behalf of their party.
Jasad said the EC’s role is to complete all necessary preparations for holding national election and other elections as per the constitution and law.
The EC should not embroil themselves in any political debate such as participation or boycott of election by any parties as it is solely the decision of political parties.
EC is not vested with arbitrating political conflict, the Jasad said.
The party also said some foreign diplomats have meddled with EC’s activities which in against the diplomatic norms. The EC should not entertain any acts in violation of diplomatic etiquette.
In reply to the Jasad’s remarks, the CEC Habibul Awal said the diplomats have not given EC any suggestion regarding the election rather the meeting was part of a continuous process.
Regarding the Jasad’s suggestion about not playing the role of an arbitrator, the CEC said, “From the beginning we are maintaining that we would invite everyone but we made it clear that we would not compel anyone to participate in polls. That is not our responsibility. Our role is to invite everyone for a free, fair and participatory election.”
He said the power enshrined by the constitution to the EC is sufficient.
The CEC said things would be tougher for the EC if the political parties oppose them instead of cooperating.
Khelafat Andolon placed 40-point demand to the EC including annulment of the reserved seats for women in the parliament, abolishing the rule to keep 33 per cent women in every political party, bringing public administration, home ministry and other related government offices under EC’s jurisdiction during the polls and introducing a neutral polls-time government.
Islamic Front Bangladesh placed 9-point demand including conducting national polls over a span of three days instead of one.