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Bring 3 key ministries under EC during polls: Workers Party

Bring 3 key ministries under EC during polls: Workers Party
Bring 3 key ministries under EC during polls: Workers Party
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FT ONLINE

Bangladesh Workers Party has proposed bringing three key ministries — Home Affairs, Public Administration and Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives — under the authority of the Election Commission (EC) during the next general election.

The party also proposed deployment of defence forces in the next polls if needed. But there is no need to provide the army with magistracy power during their deployment.

The leftist party placed the proposals joining the EC dialogue began at 11:00am today (Wednesday) in the city’s Nirbachan Bhaban with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda in the chair.

A 15-member Workers Party delegation, led by its chief and also Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon, placed a 14-point proposal at the meeting.

“The 11th national election shall be held under the present government as per the Constitution, but the government can’t take any policy decision except doing routine works after the announcement of election schedule. Home, Public Administration and Local Government ministries shall be under the EC during the election,” said one of the party’s written proposals.

It also said all officials engaged in election duty shall be kept under the EC for a certain period before and after the polls and the EC should have authority to take any punitive action against any official for his or her offense or negligence in duty.

And the government shall be obliged to implement the EC’s decision of punitive actions.

The Workers Party also proposed the EC not to re-demarcate parliamentary constituencies ahead of the next election as no population census was conducted after the previous delimitation of constituencies done in 2013. The party, however, opined that the EC can redraw constituencies in some cases.

Its other proposals include introduction of online nomination submission system, use of electronic voting machines (EVM) alongside ballot papers following creating public awareness on EVMs, scraping the provision for independent candidate to collect signatures of 1 percent votes to contest the polls, strictly monitoring election expenditures, curbing use of muscle power and terrorism, stopping the use of religion and communal matters in election and ensuring equal facilities for all.

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 the dialogues with 29 parties.

-SAM/MIAH

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