BNP’s dialogue with EC Sunday

12 Oct 2017, 21:38 | updated: 12 Oct 2017, 21:45

Online Desk

Dhaka: Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is going to join the Election Commission's (EC's) dialogue on Sunday to place the party's various proposals for holding the next general election in a free and fair manner.

BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced the party's decision at a press briefing at its Nayapaltan central office in Dhaka on Thursday.

"A BNP delegation will participate in the Election Commission dialogue on October 15. We're preparing our draft proposals to place those in the dialogue," he said.

Replying to a question, Rizvi said they will discuss the latest political issues and place their proposals in the dialogue for holding the next election in a credible and neutral manner.

Party insiders said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir will lead the BNP delegation in the dialogue.

They said their party has almost completed their all-out preparations, including making a set of written proposals, to join the EC dialogue.

BNP leaders said they will propose holding the next polls under an election-time supportive government and deployment of army with magistracy power, at least one week before the polls, reports news agency UNB.

It will also seek a level-playing field and restoration of the pre-2008 delimitation of 300 parliamentary seats.

The BNP leaders said their proposals may also include amending the RPO to define the armed forces as the law enforcement agencies and giving them magistracy power, restoring the pre-2008 delimitation of 300 parliamentary constituencies, empowering the EC to take steps for creating a level-playing field before the announcement of election schedule, keeping some important ministries like Home, Public Administration, Foreign Affairs, Education and Home, under the EC during the polls, not engaging partisan officials in election activities and not including controversial and partisan originations and their partisan representatives as election observers.

Besides, the party is expected to present a strong logic not to use EVM in the polls and the party's observations and recommendations about the voter list updating and some other EC activities.

The Election Commission on August 24 last started dialogue with 40 registered political parties to receive their opinions over the EC's preparation for the next national election likely to be held in December 2018. So far, the Commission held dialogues with 32 parties.

The EC will also hold talks with Awami League on October 18.