• Tuesday, Sep 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 07:43 pm

Shujan flays EC's move over law for political parties' registration

  • Published at 09:16 pm July 2nd, 2020
the Election Commission
Photo: Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Being a constitutional institution, the incumbent EC is doing such works for a long time which goes against the public interest

Election Commission (EC) is going to separate the Political Party Registration Act, 2020 from the Representation of the People Order (RPO) 1972, to serve the personal agenda or party interests, claims Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan).

Being a constitutional institution, the incumbent EC is doing such works for a long time which goes against the public interest.

Badiul Alam Majumdar, founding secretary of Shujan made the claims from a virtual press briefing on Thursday titled: “Women’s Participation in Political Parties: Election Commission's stands and Shujan’s Statement”.

Shujan secretary also questioned the credibility of EC adding: “It is a big question for me whether the purpose of enacting this law is for public interest or the interest of political parties?”

“As an independent body, the EC is accountable to the people, not to any party. If they want to serve the interest of a political party then the goal should be to democratize the parties,” he said.

“The present body of EC has been working outside of public interest for a long time including the 2018 election and has been committing various misdeeds. I think this law is a part of that,” Badiul added.

He also complained that such law will impede the process of women empowerment. 

He mentioned the EC’s failure to spot the extra amount of wealth from what is mentioned in the affidavit of detained law-maker Papul in Kuwait before the election. 

The chief of the rights organization also complained that the EC is not paying any heed to the subordinate bodies being established under a mother party.

While presenting the written statement of behalf of Shujan, Dilip Kumar Sarkar, central coordinator of the organization said: “It is mentioned in the Political Party Registration Regulations 2008 under ROP that the target of consisting at least 33% [one-third] women in each political party must be achieved by 2020.” 

“But the draft of new Political Party Registration Act 2020 stated that the number of women’s participation in the party committee only has to be mentioned in the annual report during submitting to the EC,” he said.

“So without meeting the aim of participation of one-third women in a political party’s committee, EC is going to relax the condition and asked to notify only how far this target has been achieved showing indifference to the timeframe,” Dilip mentioned.

He added: “According to the new draft, the registration of a political party may be cancelled if the political party fails to secure a seat in the parliamentary election for two consecutive terms.”

“Moreover, new political party will not emerge or will not get registration as EC proposed that any party needs at least two times prior participation in polls to qualify,” he said.

“Shujan thinks that the proposal mentioned in the draft of the new law is not acceptable for registration of new parties. The preconditions for registration should not be too strict and have to be relaxed so that new political forces can emerge,” he added. 

He said that it is not the job of EC to serve the interests of any political party or government.

Dilip opined: “If the participation of women is increased in the political arena, the transaction of black money and influence of muscle power will be lessened.”

They can tie a time-frame of not more than two years to ensure the 33% participation of women in each party bodies without relaxing earlier decision, Dilip suggested.  

Syeda Rizwana Hasan, central Member of Shujan said: “The outcome of change, what the EC proposed, will be undemocratic and unconstitutional. We all have to protest against it.”

Shahdeen Malik, another central body Member of Shujan said it is mandatory to ensure participation of women for implementation of the constitutional vow.

“No one can change this,” he said.

Central Member and President of Dhaka District committee, Engineer Musbah Alim urged all stakeholders to raise a question on the actual problem that makes women refrain from participation. 

He said: “This is one of the prime topics to discuss.”

Shujan Central Committee Treasurer Syed Abu Naser Bakhtiyar Ahmed, Central Member and President of Chittagong District committee Prof Muhammad Sikander Khan, Central Member and President of Rajshahi District committee Safiuddin Ahmed, and Regional Coordinator of Dhaka region Murshikul Islam Shimul also joined the program. 

Previously, the EC had issued a circular on June 16 to remove all kinds of foreign language under the Representation of the People Order, 1972, so that they are going to reform a new registration law of political parties without changing the basic terms in line with RPO.

According to the circular, EC urged the political party and citizens to express their opinions within 7 July after reading the draft which has been uploaded in their website.

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