Home » National » More

EC in the dark about law amendment

২০১৫ অক্টোবর ১৪ ১৮:২৭:০১
EC in the dark about law amendment

Bahram Khan, The Report:

The Election Commission is the organization that conducts the local government elections. The government has moved to amend five laws relating to elections to union council, upazila councils, municipalities, district councils and city corporations, the five-tier local government system existing in the country. But two or more election commissioners of the EC have told thereport24.com that they are not aware of the move to amend the laws.

As per Clause 1 under Section 119 of the Constitution, the Election Commission will do four specific jobs including the parliamentary election and the President election. The clause 2 of the section states, “In addition to the specific jobs, the Election Commission will also do an additional job as is determined by this Constitution or any other law.”

As per the existing local government election laws, the onus of holding the local government elections is on the Election Commission. In the proposed amendment to the laws, there is no exception to this.

When asked about the proposed law amendment, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed did not make any comment to thereport24.com.

He only said, “If I need to inform you anything important, I’ll invite you.” However, he advised this correspondent to contact any other Election Commissioner or the Election Commission secretary.

Md Abdul Mobarak, one of the Election Commissioners who is also known as a law expert, told thereport24.com, “The government has not asked the Election Commission about what the new laws will look like. The Election Commission also did not tell the government anything about this. No discussion has even been held with anybody of the ruling party.”

“We ourselves have also not discussed it. We are not at all involved in the process. But if we are entrusted with any job, we’ll do that,” he said.

“If the local government election laws are passed, then the existing electoral rules for the local government institutions will need to be changed. But it will not be a tough task,” he added.

Former Election Commissioner Sohul Hossain said, “I think the decision has been taken in view of the reality. Only the party symbols were not used during all earlier elections. The political parties did everything in the rest of the areas.”

“But all should be more attentive so that this opportunity is not misused,” he added.

“As the Election Commission is the organisation that will hold the elections, the government could take the opinions of the EC. But when it comes to taking any decision on principle, the government can take such a decision on its own.”

Sohul Hossain said, “As the Election Commission will frame the electoral rules and codes of conduct on passage of the laws in the parliament, from that point of view the Election Commission still has the opportunity to give its opinion.”

He also said, “Earlier any candidate contesting election against the party was termed a rebel candidate. Maybe, now they will be ‘independent rebel candidates.”

Election Commissioner Brig Gen (Retd) Jabed Ali told thereport24.com, “We also are hearing like you, watching it in the news. We cannot say anything before we have the laws in our hand. We cannot say when the laws will be finalized, when they will be available. As soon as we get them, we will talk about it.”

Ends/ thereport24.com/AR/Oct 14, 2015