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AL allies to read from same script at dialogues with EC

  • Published at 11:39 pm October 5th, 2017
  • Last updated at 09:27 pm October 6th, 2017
AL allies to read from same script at dialogues with EC
Leaders of the member parties of the Awami League-led 14-party alliance will apparently read from the same script during their dialogues with the Election Commission. Sources from the coalition members have told the Dhaka Tribune that the parties will give common proposals during their talks later this month. After a coalition meeting held at the Awami League president’s office at Dhanmondi on Thursday, Awami League Presidium member and alliance coordinator Mohammed Nasim also confirmed the mater to reporters. “We believe in common political ideologies and we will give common proposals to the Election Commission,” he said. The 14-party alliance’s proposals will be based on the commission’s roadmap to the 11th parliamentary election announced in mid-July. According to sources, the coalition will advise the commission to hold the polls under a government, with the incumbent lawmakers and public representatives, which will act as a supportive administration during the next polls. They will propose not to deploy the army during the election, but to keep them as a reserved striking force in case of major disorder. They will also propose release of the updated voters’ list on the commission’s website 60 days before the election schedule is announced. The coalition members will urge the commission to consider the population, number of voters and the size of an area before reforming the constituencies. They will ask the commission to amend laws, if needed, to ensure a strong and dynamic commission to maintain the seven-point roadmap proposed by it, said the sources. They will also propose reformation of the Representation of the People Order and the Delimitation of Constituencies Ordinance in line with conventional laws, and translating them into Bangla and making them available to all. Sources said that the ruling party allies will urge the commission to enact new law barring any individual or political parties who was anti-Liberation War and involved in anti-state activities from participating in the election. They will also call for reforming laws to ban registration of any party if its constitution, ideology and goals go against Bangladesh’s constitution. The 14-party alliance members, however, have no problem with the commission using the electoral voting machines in the polls, said the sources. Their last proposal is that the commission should increase the threshold of election expenditure of a candidate up to Tk25 lakh. On Wednesday, senior Awami League leaders had held a meeting at the Dhanmondi office to finalise the coalition proposals. Central Working Committee Adviser HT Imam chaired the meeting which was also attended by Presidium members Matia Chowdhury and Abdur Razzak, advisers Moshiur Rahman and Rashidul Alam, member Riazul Kabir Kawser and Deputy Office Secretary Biplab Barua. However, apart from these proposals, the ruling party will keep an eye on the BNP’s dialogue with the Election Commission. Awami League’s plans or way of thinking may change based on the outcome of BNP’s meeting, said sources. Khaleda Zia-led BNP is scheduled to sit with the commission on October 15 and Awami League on October 18. The 10th parliament convened on January 29, 2014, which means the next general polls will have to be held between October 30, 2018, and January 27, 2019. After finalising its roadmap, aiming for an all-inclusive election, in July, the Election Commission had announced that they would hold a series of talks with all stakeholders, which would centre on seven specific issues. They are – legal reforms to strengthen the electoral process, recommendations to make the election process simple and timely, delimiting the constituencies to finalise their territorial expanse, update voters’ list, establish polling stations according to regulations, fresh registrations for political parties, and create a level-playing field for all. The talks between the commission and political parties, civil society, media, polls observers, representatives of women’s rights bodies and election experts started on July 31 and will continue through October.