Dhaka – President Abdul Hamid has decided to hold dialogue with political parties beginning Sunday for reconstitution of the Election Commission as the tenure of the office bearers at the quasi-judicial expires early next year.
The presidential Bangabhaban palace said the first meeting of the series will be with Bangladesh Nationalist Party, an opposition outside parliament, on December 18.
The meeting will be held at the President’s official residence at 4.30pm on the day, Bangabhaban spokesman Joynal Abedin said.
The BNP, headed by former prime minister Khaleda Zia boycotted the last general elections demanding a non-party caretaker administration to oversee holding of the parliamentary polls.
Failing to prevent holding of the general election in 2014, the party went for transport blockade across Bangladesh for more than three months on the following year killing more than 130 people in arson attacks during the agitations.
The aim of the protest was to oust the Awami League-led coalition government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina from the office.
The party recently sent a letter to the President seeking consultation before reconstitution of the election commission. The BNP chief also put forward a number of proposals for fair elections slightly deviating from her previous demand for a caretaker administration.
Abedin said the President will hold meeting with Jatiya Party on December 20, Liberal Democratic Party and Krishak Sramik Janata League on December 21 and Jatiya Samajtantric Dal (JASOD-Inu) on December 22.
In 2012, the then President Zillur Rahman appointed the present chief electin commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad to lead the five-member electoral body through a search committee after holding meetings with political parties.
The tenure of the current commission expires in February. The new EC will conduct the next general election scheduled to be held in early 2019 or late 2018.