The Election Commission (EC) commenced dialogue with civil society members on Monday seeking their opinions in holding the next general polls.
The talk, which is a part of the EC's planned dialogue with different political parties and other stakeholders, began this morning with Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda in the chair, reports BSS.
An EC official said a good number of representatives of the civil society are attending the dialogue at the Election Commission office in Dhaka.
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Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Husa, centre, chairs the dialogue the Election Commission commences on Monday, July 31, 2017 Focus Bangla
The issues of the discussion include amendments to the electoral laws and delimitation of the electoral constituencies, finalising of flawless voters' list, fixation of voting centers and registration of new political parties.
Among the representatives, Prof Dr Asif Nazrul proposed that the returning officers should be recruited from EC officials. He also proposed the "no-vote" option remain in the upcoming election.
Hossain Zillur Rahman, former adviser to the caretaker government, proposed the army be deployed and inviting foreign observers during the election.
The former adviser also called for an election-time government as he speculated that organising an election alone would be quite difficult for the EC. He also urged political parties to hold dialogues in order to form an election-time government.
Economist Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya urged the EC to be more cautious about using religious sentiments during the next election. He also asked for specific laws to enforce transparency and accountability in the election expenditure of the candidates.
Dr Debapriya also urged the commission to thoroughly verify the affidavits of the candidates.
Prof Dr Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah opined the increased expenditure limit for candidates for campaigning in the next parliamentary elections has been creating unfair competition among aspirants.
Prof Mahbuba Nasreen of Dhaka University said the time limit to update the voter list should be extended as the updating activities have been delayed due to natural disasters in many parts of the country.
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Eminent personalities have attended the Election Commission-organised dialogue on Monday, July 31, 2017 Focus Bangla
The invited representatives include: former advisers to the caretaker administration Dr Akbar Ali Khan, M Hafiz Uddin Khan, Sultana Kamal, Abdul Muyeed Chowdhury, Dr Wahid Uddin Mahmud, Begum Rasheda K Chowdhury, Mirza Azizul Islam, Begum Rokeya A Rahman and Dr Hossain Zilliur Rahman, former Supreme Court judge Ghulam Rabbani, former Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Forash Uddin, Barrister Rafiqul Haque, Dr Shahdin Malik, former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder, former secretary Sa'dat Hossain, fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Dr Debiopriya Bhatcharya, Major General (retd) SM Shamsul Arefin, Prof Nazrul Islam, Dr Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, Prof Dr Ajoy Ray, Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Prof Syed Anower Hossain, Prof Abul Barakat,Chairman of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Rahat Khan, columnist Syed Abul Maksud, Senior Journalist of Prothom Alo Mizanur Rahman Khan and executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh Dr Iftekharuzzaman.
As part of the roadmap, the EC will also sit in talks with 40 registered political parties, media people, election observers, women leaders and election experts.