Dhaka – Senior journalists have urged the election authorities to ensure participation of all the political parties in the next parliamentary elections due by end of next year.
The journalists came up with the views as the Election Commission began a series of dialogue to hold a credible general election next year.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda and his deputies in the quasi-judicial body exchanged views with the journalists from different print and electronic media at the commission’s Agargaon office.
A journalist attended the meeting told reporters that all the journalists wanted that the next election be free, fair and inclusive. They also urged the commission to hold talks with all political parties prior to the election.
A total of 22 journalists attended the meeting. Amanullah Kabir, Nurul Kabir, Kazi Siraj, Nayeem Nizam, Imdadul Haq Milon, Shyamal Dutta, Motiur Rahman Chowdhury, Shymal Dutta and Manzurul Ahsan Bulbul attended the meeting among others.
The commission planned to hold a series of dialogues with stakeholders for credible holding of the 2018 election.
Leaders from six major political parties will be invited once the dialogue with the media representatives is completed, according to a senior official at the Election Commission.
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 opposition 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The Awami League repealed the constitutional provision of an election-time non-party administration in line with a court order that termed the provision illegal.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”. The AL says it was unnecessary at this moment to have unelected persons to run the administration for an election.