BNP to take part in EC formation after consensus with opposition parties

Akram Hossain, Staff Correspondent
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The tenure of the current Election Commission (EC) will end next February and in the meantime, a new election commission has to be formed.

Discussions have already started in various quarters including the political parties on the process of forming the EC.

The main opposition party in the political field, the BNP, demanded a neutral non-partisan government during the election.

he party has made it clear that it will not run in the elections under the incumbent government. They are not interested to join the process in forming  the new election commission.

However, the party (BNP) did not give up the thinking of forming EC at once. They have already made their plans. If the government can reach concensus with the opposition political parties, they (BNP) will take part in the process of forming the Election Commission.

A competent source from the BNP told that the BNP would consider a call from the President or the Prime Minister to take part in the process of forming the Election Commission.

The party will hold talks with opposition parties as part of it. They will take part in the process of forming EC if a political consensus is reached with the opposition parties at the negotiating table.

The source said that several parties, including the left-leaning parties, have been flexible in forming political alliances with the BNP to save the country from the hands of the incumbent government. All these left-leaning parties will be given importance.

However, the nationalist party is not openly talking about this right now. The party leaders demanded a neutral government during the elections. If there is an election-time government, they will form the EC.

BNP organizing secretary Syed Emran Saleh Prince told that no election commission under the present government can elect people's representatives through popular vote.

He added: “We want a non-partisan government during the elections. If a neutral government is formed, there will be an election commission under it.”

“If there is an election commission through a search committee, it will be an obedient commission of the Awami League,” he said.

BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy told that the BNP is not thinking about the Election Commission. What will happen with the Election Commission?  “We do not have a headache with the EC. The BNP demands a neutral government during the elections.”

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the EC could not do anything without a neutral government in the current context in Bangladesh.

Mirza Fakhrul said said that in order to have a truly neutral election, the government must first step down, hand over power to a neutral government and arrange for a free and fair election.

In 2017, President Abdul Hamid held a dialogue with 31 political parties to form the election commission.