Dialogue this month for credible national polls
August 6th, 2017 at 6:13 pm
Dialogue this month for credible national polls

Dhaka: The Election Commission will launch a series of dialogues this month with stakeholders for credible holding of the national election, due by the end of 2018,  a top election official said on Sunday.

The election talks will begin on August 16 with the representatives from the media organizations.

Helaluddin Ahmed, secretary to the Election Commission Secretariat, told reporters that the media representatives would be invited for the August 16 and 17 dialogue at the Election Bhaban in Dhaka.

The schedule for talks with the political parties will be announced later, he said adding that the dialogue is likely to be held at the end of this month.

Sixty journalists, including editors of the national newspapers, senior journalists from electronic media, will be invited for the first round of the dialogue, the secretary said.

Leaders from six major political parties will be invited once the dialogue with the media representatives is completed, he added.

More dialogues with other political parties will begin on September 10 after the vacation on the occasion of Muslim’s Eid-al-Adha.

The tenure of the current 10th parliament is due to expire in early January 2019, and according to the election laws, the election must be conducted within 90 days preceding expiry of its tenure. The ruling Awami League party won most of the 300 parliamentary seats in the January 5, 2014 election boycotted by major political parties including the Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

The BNP had demanded a non-party caretaker administration to oversee the parliamentary polls fearing that the AL might rig the election. The party tried to foil the 2014 election resulting in widespread violence that left many people dead.

The BNP, which had also launched a non-stop transport strike across Bangladesh aiming at unseating the Awami League government on the first anniversary of the controversial election, is now preparing for the next election no matter whether it is under the partisan administration or non partisan government.

The Awami League repealed the constitutional provision of an election-time non-party administration in line with a court order that termed the provision illegal. The BNP accused the ruling party of attempting to cling to the power through abolishing the provision of “caretaker administration”.