Former Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda on Tuesday said political parties also have a big responsibility to make the next parliamentary elections fair.
"The Election Commission (EC) is not solely responsible to make the election fair. There're many players here. Political parties also have a big responsibility to make the polls fair," he told reporters after the EC's dialogue with election experts.
As part of its dialogue with different stakeholders, the EC arranged the meeting with the election experts, including former chief election commissioners and former election commissioners, at Nirbachan Bhaban.
Out of 26 invitees, 16 participated in the nearly two and a half hours' meeting held with Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda in the chair.
Shamsul Huda said the electoral system was affected largely by the boycott culture in the last election. "So, political parties will have to remain alert this time and all should join the election."
In reply to a question over political parties' proposal over the election-time government, the former CEC said the issue is related to fundamental reform.
"There'll be no caretaker government any more as an amendment was brought to the Constitution in this regard. And you can't bring another amendment (to change the format of the election-time govt) due to the time constraint if you want to arrange the next election within the timeframe," he said.
"All parties will have to join the next election under the existing circumstances, condition and environment," Huda added.
He said they suggested that the Commission earn public confidence and strengthen itself, particularly development of its infrastructure and human resources.
"A long-term solution will not be achieved through scattered approaches ahead of every election. We'll have to think of what we need to do to make the Election Commission effective," he added.
The election experts also asked the Commission to take steps so that it can arrange elections by making returning officers from the EC's own staff in the future.
The participants include two former chief election commissioners Justice Abdur Rouf and Dr ATM Shamsul Huda, former election commissioners Brig Gen (retd) M Shakhawat Hossain, Sohul Hossain, Md Saiful Alam, Mohammad Abdul Mobarak, Mohammad Abu Hafiz and Md Shah Nawaz, Election Commission's former secretary Humayun Kabir, former IGP Mohammad Hadis Uddin, former director general of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Major General (retd) Md Rafiqul Islam and former local government senior secretary Monzur Hossain.
With this meeting, the EC's three-month dialogue with different stakeholders concluded.
The Commission held dialogues with civil society members, media persons and all the 40 registered political parties, election observers and women leaders since July 31 last for taking their opinions over the EC's preparation for the 11th national election likely to be held in December 2018.
The Election Commission on July 31 started its dialogues with different stakeholders, including political parties to seek opinions over the commission’s preparation for the 11th general election likely to be held in December, 2018.
As part of the dialogue, the EC held talks with civil society members on July 31, media persons on August 16 and 17, and 40 registered political parties from August 24 to October 19.