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EC held electoral dialogue with civil society members

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FT ONLINE

The Election Commission (EC) on Monday held dialogue with civil society members to get opinions in holding the next Jatiya Sangsad (parliamentary) elections.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda told journalists that starting at 11 am, the dialogue as a part of the EC’s planned dialogue with different political parties and other stakeholders, ended in the afternoon where the civil society members gave some suggestions.

He said the suggestions include: deployment of army personnel in polls, removing voters’ fears, controlling the use of illegal money and also muscles power, keeping the polls-costing within Taka three lakh, introducing ‘No’ voting system and not to carry out any mobile phone in the polls-booth.

Replying to a query, the CEC said in the dialogue some stressed the need for publishing voters list online and keeping some important ministries under the jurisdiction of the EC during election period.

He said “We will disseminate the messages to the government and political parties participating in the upcoming general polls.”

“We are also considering bringing the expatriate Bangladeshi under the purview of the voting system,” the CEC added.

About the people’s confidence on the election commission, Huda said, “We arrange the polls by giving full attention to the whole process . . . Earlier we didn’t care anything as necessary actions were taken as per the complaints.”

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda presided over the dialogue where other EC members and senior officials were present.

Earlier, SM Asaduzzaman, director public relation of the EC, told BSS that EC invited a total of 59 civil society members to attend the meeting.

The discussion matters included: amendments to the electoral laws and delimitation of the electoral constituencies, finalizing of flawless voters’ list, fixation of voting centers and registration of new political parties.

The invited representatives included: former advisers to the Caretaker Government Dr Akbar Ali Khan, M Hafiz Uddin Khan, Advocate Sultana Kamal, Abdul Muyeed Chowdhury, Dr Wahid Uddin Mahmud, Begum Rasheda K Chowdhury, Mirza Azizul Islam, Begum Rokeya A Rahman and Dr Hossain Zilliur Rahman, Justice Ghulam Rabbani, former Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Forash Uddin, Barrister Rafiqul Haque, Dr Shahdeen Malik, former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder, former secretary Sa’dat Hossain, fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Dr Debapriya Bhattcharya, Major General (retd) SM Shamsul Arefin, Prof Nazrul Islam, Dr Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, Prof Dr Ajoy Ray, Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Prof Syed Anwar Hossain, Prof Abul Barakat,Chairman of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Rahat Khan, columnist Syed Abul Maksud, Senior Journalist of Prothom Alo Mizanur Rahman Khan and executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh Dr Iftekharuzzaman.

-NK

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