The 10-member BNP delegation to be led by its Chairperson Khaleda Zia is set to meet the president to discuss reformation of Election Commission and nature of poll-time government during the next national election.
BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune: “BNP wants an independent Election Commission (EC) which must be formed according to the recommendations of all political parties; so that the ruling government cannot influence EC’s activities during the upcoming general election.”
He said, “We sent one of our delegates to Bangabhaban on Thursday afternoon to inform the name of leaders who would meet the president.”
The Khaleda-led delegation consists of BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Standing Committee Members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Jamiruddin Sircar, Torikul Islam, Mahbubur Rahman, Mirza Abbas, Nazrul Islam Khan and Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury.
BNP sources said Khaleda at first will go to the party’s Naya Paltan central office where other leaders of the delegation would join her. From the central office, the delegation would start for Bangabhaban to meet the president.
Informing that the delegation will submit BNP’s previously declared 13-point demand regarding EC reformation to the president, Rizvi said: “Khaleda Zia will also discuss different political issues including arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance of BNP leaders and activists.”
At a press briefing yesterday, Rizvi said: “The people of the country want the reformed EC to be impartial and independent; not just an extension of the ruling autocratic government that is clinging to power without people’s mandate since the so-called January 5 election.”
“It (the reformed EC) should be a constitutional body in the true sense of the word, one that can protect and ensure the country’s people’s right to vote defying the evil intentions of the preset unelected government,” he also said.
Stressing the importance of an election commission composed of impartial members, Rizvi said: “We will ask the president to form an EC on which all political parties, including the largest opposition party BNP, may rely. If the EC is formed ignoring the recommendations of all political parties at the prime minister’s behest, or composed only of those loyal to the ruling party, it will not be a reliable one.”
President Md Abdul Hamid has invited the political parties for discussion on reformation of the EC.
BNP chairperson’s adviser Khandaker Mahbub Hossain at the briefing said: “We will submit the names of four renowned citizens of the country to the president to be included in a search committee that would find out the next CEC.”
“The eminent citizens are Justice Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury, Justice Syed ZR Mudassir Hossain, Justice Mohammad Fazlul Karim and Justice ATM Afzal,” he added.
In reply to a question what the party would do if the president does not accept their recommendations, BNP Standing Committee Member Gayeswar Chandra Roy told the Dhaka Tribune: “The president is a guardian of the country, he is not a party president. He is the president of the whole country, that’s why our expectation is high to him. We hope before taking any decision, he would consider our recommendations deeply and sincerely.”
“BNP wants to cast vote without any hassle with the participation of all political parties in the next parliament polls. We want the next election to be held before January 5, 2019,” he added.
He also said: “BNP wants to cast vote without any hassle with the participation of all political parties in the next parliamentary polls. We want the next election to be held before January 5, 2019.”
Meanwhile, expressing hope that all political parties will talk to the president for an independent EC, Jatiya Party Secretary General Ruhul Amin Howlader told the Dhaka Tribune: “Our party delegation led by Chairperson HM Ershad will meet the president on December 20. We have finalised our proposals, but it cannot be disclosed right now.”