Speakers at a discussion suggested forming the next Election Commission with competent and neutral persons through discussions with major political parties.
They also suggested that forming the EC with competent persons is necessary to restore people’s confidence in the constitutional body, reports UNB.
Shushasoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan) arranged the programme titled “Election Commission Reconstitution and Citizens’ Thoughts” at the Jatiya Press Club on Saturday.
Speaking at the programme, former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda said political parties which suffer defeats in polls bring the allegation of vote rigging as people have lack of confidence in the Election Commission in the country.
“So, we have to work out a strategy to restore people’s confidence in the Commission and create a culture of accepting election results,” he observed.
Mentioning that EC is constituted based on political parties’ opinions in many countries, the ex-CEC said people’s confidence will be restored in the Commission if it is formed through talks with political parties.
Huda, however, said the election will not be fair if the government has no good will despite having people’s confidence in the EC.
He hoped that the next EC will be constituted with those persons who have good reputation and no allegation of having affection for any party.
The ex-CEC thinks BNP made a historical blunder by boycotting the 2014 election. “Boycotting parliament is a bad culture which weakens the basic of democracy.”
He also suggested working out a mechanism to form the EC with neutral and competent persons.
Former caretaker government adviser M Hafizuddin Khan said the election system in Bangladesh has collapsed now as the EC is not working properly. “In fact, the government’s good will and independent Election commission are prerequisite for a fair election.”
He demanded the government form the next commission through a transparent process.
Former Election Commissioner M Shakhawat Hossain said it is important to see through which process the EC will be constituted as the Commissioners will play the main role in holding the next polls.
He said the EC will be acceptable to all if it is formed in consultation with all political parties.
Shujan secretary Badiul Alam Majumder said the Commission will have to be formed with appropriate persons through an appropriate system for holding the next election in a free and fair manner.
As per the direction of the constitution, he said a law should be enacted so that honest, competent, neutral and brave persons are appointed to the Commission.
Mentioning that the previous Shamsul Huda-led Commission had drafted rules and regulations regarding the appointment to the EC, he said it can be used now for forming the fresh Commission.
The draft also can be finalised through discussion with all political parties and stake holders.
He also proposed forming a five-member search committee comprising representatives from political parties, civil society and mass media to reconstitute the EC. –RH