Only 2 out of 75 new parties endorsed

Staff Correspondent . Dhaka | Update:

Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna. Photo: Prothom AloThe election commission has cancelled the registration of Oikyaboddho Nagorik Andolon as a political party for non-compliance with terms, according its decision.

The commission has turned down all but two applications for registration of new political parties - the decision for which the applicants called the EC subservient to the government.

As many as 75 organisations sought registration with the commission, ahead of the next general elections.

The organisations that were denied registration include Nagorik Oikya, Oikya NAP, Bangladesh Jasad, Ganasanghati Andolon and Trinamool BNP.

The EC came up with the decisions in a meeting at its secretariat on Tuesday.

Accordingly, the commission will carry out investigations before taking a decision on whether to register Gana Azadi League and Bangladesh Congress.

Ganasanghati Andolon chief coordinator Junaid Saki. Photo: Collected

On the cancellation of Nagorik Oikyaboddho Andolon registration, EC secretary Helaluddin Ahmed said it failed to meet the queries made by the EC for retaining its registration. The Andolon has, for a second time, failed to respond in 15 days and and it could not fulfill conditions, he added.

Faruk Ahmed heads the organisation founded during the caretaker government in 2008.

With its exclusion from the EC's list, the number of registered political parties stands at 39.

The commission in October last year had issued a public notification seeking applications from parties willing to see fresh registration ahead of the 11th parliamentary elections. A total of 75 parties submitted applications for registration.

The registration seekers were less known political parties or groups except a few such as Pankaj Bhattacharya's Oikya NAP, Mahmudur Rahman Manna's Nagorik Oikya, Sharif Nurul Ambia's Bangladesh Jasad, and Junaid Saki's Ganasanghati Andolon.

Ganasanghati Andolon sent a letter to EC on Monday saying it had fulfilled all the conditions for being eligible for the EC's recognition.

Helaluddin said, applications of 19 parties were rejected following initial screening. Even after modification of applications, nine more applications were rejected and 45 parties finally for not fulfilling the terms, the EC secretary argued.

Oikya NAP president Pankaj Bhattacharya said, "If the election commission considers applications of any Tom, Dick and Harry organisation but not ours, there is nothing we can do. We have committees in 46 districts. I have never faced such misfortune in my 65-year political career. I'll do politics without registration."

File photo of the election commission secretariat entranceGana Azadi League is being considered by the EC, but the organisation has no committee in most of the districts, Pankaj pointed out.

Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said, "I condemn the EC's decision. The commission has not been able to prove its credibility yet. It's now acting like a servant of the government."

"The commission has taken into consideration organisations that do not have much activity in Dhaka. Nagorik Oikya fulfilled all the conditions," argued the former student leader.

Ex-minister Nazmul Huda's Trinamool BNP too did not get approval.

EC secretary Helaluddin said, Trinamool applied after the deadline.

Its application was received following a court order and the EC did not find Trinamool eligible, he said.

*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Nusrat Nowrin.

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