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Dhaka Tribune

Gono Songhoti Andolon organizes roundtable on EC

The conditions set by the EC for new political party registration are difficult to comply with.  This raises questions over the objective of the law

Update : 27 Jun 2018, 10:54 PM

A dialogue titled “Registration process of political parties, election and constitutional democratic rights” organized by the Gono Songhoti Andolon was held at the National Press Club on Wednesday.

The roundtable discussed the role of the Election Commission (EC) on the topic.

Civil society members expressed dissatisfaction on the EC’s move for not approving registration of 73 out of the 75 prospective parties ahead of the national polls, scheduled for later in the year.

They commented that it was an ill motive on the part of the EC. It did not approve registration of active and renowned political parties, they said, which will hinder new thoughts and expansion of political activities in the country.  

The conditions set by the EC for new political party registration are difficult to comply with.  This raises questions over the objective of the law.

Former Election Commissioner Brigadier General (retd) M Sakhawat Hossain said: “The EC’s moral responsibility is to act like a guardian and also assess the political parties.” 

“The law has been implemented in such a way that it serves to benefit the government, as it acts as a control mechanism against new parties,” he said. 

Eminent Columnist Syed Abul Maksud said: “The motives of EC for not giving registration to some active and established political parties before the national election are questionable.”

Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said: “General people will vote as they desire. The EC has no right to stop the people.”

 “We don’t want to limit our discussion whether the registration was given or not. We would like to highlight how general people are made powerless and how an arbitrary power is given to the government,” Chief Coordinator of Gono Songhoti Andolon Zonayed Saki said.

“The current EC law states that a party’s registration will be cancelled, if it does not take part in two consecutive elections. This has been made with an ill motive. Police are killing people in the name of gunfights on one hand while the EC announces cancellation of registration not for fulfilling the condition on the other,” he added.

Other speakers were - Oikya National Awami Party (NAP) President Pankaj Bhattacharjee, Sujon Secretary Dr Badiul Alam Majumdar, Prof of History Ahmed Kamal, General Secretary of Socialist Party of Bangladesh Comrade Khalekuzzaman, General Secretary of Bangladesh Communist Party Shah Alam, General Secretary of Biplobi Workers Party Saiful Haque and Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua. 

A total of 75 new parties applied for registration before the 11th parliamentary election. Of them 73 parties were rejected as they failed to fulfill the new conditions of the EC’s law.

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