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Bangladesh - December 20, 2021

President’s dialogue on EC formation kicks off today

Staff Correspondent: President Abdul Hamid will kick off the dialogue with registered political parties today to discuss issues relating to the reconstitution of the Election Commission (EC).
The dialogue is formally going to begin with the main opposition — Jatiya Party — in Parliament.
An eight-member delegation of Jatiya Party will participate in the dialogue with the President to be held at 4pm today at Bangabhaban, President’s Press Secretary Joynal Abedin told yesterday.
Jatiya Party (JaPa) Chairman GM Quader will lead his party’s delegation at the talks.
The parties that have representation in Parliament have already been invited to join the talks, Joynal said.
The five-year tenure of the incumbent Commission, led by Chief Election Commission KM Nurul Huda, will expire on February 14 next.
Now there are 39 registered political parties, according to the EC website. But only nine parties have representation in Parliament.
The nine parties are Bangladesh Awami League, Jatiya Party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Bangladesh Workers Party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal-Jasod, Bikalpadhara Bangladesh, Ganoforum, Bangladesh Tarikat Federation and Jatiya Party-JP.
One of the major parties, BNP, still did not make its position clear whether it will join the talks with the President or not.
A senior leader wishing anonymity said their party may not join the talks as they think the new EC will be formed as per the ruling party’s wish.
He said they have a plan to send a letter to the president giving their observations and recommendations on the reconstitution of the EC instead of joining the dialogue.
In December 2016, President Abdul Hamid had a series of talks with the registered political parties over the EC’s reconstitution that began with the first meeting with a delegation of BNP.
Later, a six-member search committee was formed to recommend names for the Chief Election Commissioner and election commissioners.
The search committee sought five names from every political party. The committee later submitted 10 names before President Md Abdul Hamid to appoint CEC and election commissioners among them.
The President finally formed the present commission-headed by KM Nurul Huda. Then the CEC and other commissioners took oath on February 15, 2017.
As per the constitution, the EC should be formed under a law, but this law has not been enacted yet in Bangladesh.
The new election commission will have to arrange the 12th national election within November 2023 to January 2024.

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