BNP hopes President to form stronger EC

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Dhaka : Though the party has disappointment over the search committee, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Saturday hoped that President Abdul Hamid will constitute a stronger Election Commission (EC) as per people’s hopes and aspirations.

“Common people are saying that the Election Commission will be formed as per the Prime Minister’s will. We’re now waiting to see whether the President can reflect people’s hopes and aspirations,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

Speaking at a discussion, he further said, “We hope as a seasoned politician he (President) will take the right step to help the nation overcome the current political crisis by forming a stronger Commission.”

If the President and the search panel fail to do so, Fakhrul warned that their names will be written in the black chapter of history. “If you can do it, your names will be there in the golden chapter of history.”

Dhaka city unit Jatiya Ganatantrik Party (Jagpa) arranged the discussion on EC formation at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU).

After discussions with 31 political parties, the President recently formed a six-member search committee, led by Supreme Court’s Appellate Division judge Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, to propose names for appointing the next election commissioners as the tenure of current EC expires in the middle of this month.

The search panel is expected to propose 10 names to the President by February 8 for forming the new EC, and the President will appoint no more than five persons to the EC from the names to be proposed by the search committee.

Fakhrul said only a neutral and stronger EC is not enough to hold free, fair and inclusive polls unless an election-time neutral government is formed to assist the Commission.

He hoped that good sense will prevail upon the government to take proper steps to restore people’s voting rights.

About the President’s talks with political parties over the EC formation, the BNP leader said Abdul Hamid should have talked to all the registered political parties. “You’ve ignored democratic practice by not inviting some other parties for discussions. We didn’t expect such an attitude from you as the country’s President.”

He said the President should maintain neutrality over every matter as he has taken oath not to do anything out of anger, revulsion and affection. “You’re now not a political leader of any party. You’re the President of all. We hope you’ll consider it with importance in the future.”

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