ATM Shamsul Huda, who was Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) from 2007 to 2012, said, “The election would not be credible if all parties don’t take part. So, how you bring them (to the election) would depend on what you can offer them. BNP was problematic during the election of my tenure in 2008. We had to spend a lot of time convincing them. The way they are talking now indicates that they don’t want to join the next election.”

Commissioner of the immediate past EC, Mahbub Talukder, said the only challenge ahead of the next general election is to ensure participation of all political parties and the election would not be acceptable locally or globally if it’s not participatory.

Another former commissioner Mohammad Abu Hafiz said, “Participation of all parties has to be ensured. Then everyone would consider the election a good one. But the EC cannot involve them in the process.”

He said the ruling party would consider how to bring all parties to the polls.

Former EC secretary Mohammad Abdullah, however, thinks that the EC should ensure the participation of all political parties at any cost.

80 per cent work would be done if the EC can do it, he added.

A total of 28 persons including former CECs, commissioners and EC secretaries were invited to the meeting but only 10 of the invitees turned up.

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