EC roadmap not to solve crisis over polls-time govt: BNP

16 Jul 2017, 19:53 | updated: 16 Jul 2017, 19:57

Online Desk

Dhaka: Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam on Sunday said the Election Commission's (EC's) roadmap for the next parliamentary elections will not help resolve the 'crisis' over the election-time government.

"An election-time supportive government is a must for holding a neutral and fair election, and a dialogue on the matter is also very crucial right now. So, the crisis (over the election-time govt) won't be over with the Election Commission's roadmap," he said.

The BNP leader further said, "There must have a road to election. But, we've so far not seen the road for the polls. We need the road first, and map will follow it."

Fakhrul came up with the comments while talking to journalists at BNP's Nayapaltan central office giving their party's instant reaction to the roadmap for the next polls announced by the EC earlier in the day.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda unveiled a booklet of EC's roadmap for the next general election.

As per the roadmap, the commission will start dialogue with political parties and other stakeholders on July 31 next.

The Election Commission has a constitutional obligation to complete the next parliamentary elections within January 28, 2019 as the 10th parliament went into its first session on January 2014. But, it is planning to arrange the polls in late December 2018.

Fakhrul said their party will come up with a formal reaction to the EC's roadmap in consultation with their party chairperson Khaleda Zia, now in London, and other senior leaders since it is a very sensitive issue.

He said it is now necessary to settle some issues, including the nature of election-time government, election procedure and the role of the EC during polls, through talks immediately.

About the CEC's comment that the Commission announced the roadmap to hold the next polls without any sort of influence from any quarter, the BNP leader said, though the EC's intention looks good, the country's situation is not conducive to holding the polls without the government interference.

"Even, now we're not allowed to hold a rally. Our senior leaders who went to see our chairperson off (at Shahjalal Airport Saturday) were forced to stand on a road. So, we need to examine whether there is any election environment in the country," Fakhrul observed.

Earlier at a press conference at the same venue, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi alleged that the CEC has made the roadmap alone without involving the other commissioners. "As per the EC rule, the roadmap should be prepared with the joint efforts of all the commissioners but the CEC did it alone."