Eminent citizens urge govt to enact law for reconstituting EC

 Eminent citizens urge govt to enact law for reconstituting EC

Election commission building – File photo

A total of 53 eminent citizens of the country have blasted the last two election commissions and called the government for immediate reconstitution of the commission with an enactment of law as per the constitution.

An initiative to reconstitute the election commission must begin immediately with an enactment of a law as per the constitution

Citizens

“The tenure of the current Nurul Huda commission will end in February 2022. Hence, the initiative to reconstitute the election commission must begin immediately with the enactment of a law as per the constitution,” reads a statement sent by Shushasoner Jonno Nagorik’s (SHUJAN) secretary Badiul Alam Majumder on Saturday.

The statements also said, “We urge the government to take urgent steps in this regard to enable the election commission to take the necessary lawful steps for conducting elections independently and without any external influence.”

“Although the constitution explicitly mandates the appointments to the election commission “subject to the provisions of any law,” no government has taken such an initiative in the last 50 years,” it added.

Prior to the formation of last two election commissions, president constituted two search committees chaired by current chief justice Syed Mahmud Hossain.

The Rakibuddin commission and the Nurul Huda commission constituted on the recommendations of those two ad hoc search committees, have brought our electoral system to the brink of collapse through their nakedly biased conducts

Citizens

“The Rakibuddin commission and the Nurul Huda commission constituted on the recommendations of those two ad hoc search committees, have brought our electoral system to the brink of collapse through their nakedly biased conducts, creating among the people widespread distrust in the election commission and serious concerns about fair elections,” the statement reads.

The eminent citizens said the proposed law must specify the qualifications of the chief election commissioner and other commissioners and include a provision for the formation of a search committee with non-partisan individuals acceptable to all related stakeholders.

“The mandate of the search committee must be to prepare, following a transparent process, a panel of honest, non-partisan and reputed individuals, meeting the qualifications laid down in the law, for recommendation to the president for appointment to the election commission.”

They demanded that the proposed law must include provisions for making public the names of individuals initially being considered for appointment to the election commission, holding public hearings and publishing a report providing the rationale for recommending the individuals to the president for appointment for the sake of transparency.

“We hope that the law ministry will take an initiative on an urgent basis to enact the law for reconstituting the election commission with appropriate process. We as citizens stand ready to provide the necessary assistance by providing feedback,” the statements added.

The citizen’s platform also urged the government to start thinking of reforms so that the civil administration and the law enforcement agencies can impartially perform their duties during elections.

The signatories include professor emeritus Serajul Islam Choudhury, M Amir-ul Islam, Akbar Ali Khan, M Hafizuddin Khan, Rasheda K Chowdhury, justice Abdul Matin, M Shakhawat Hossain, Hameeda Hossain, Salehuddin Ahmed, Ali Imam Majumder, Debapriya Bhattacharya, Iftekharuzzaman, Anu Mohammad, Gitiara Nasreen, Asif Nazrul, Shaheen Anam, ZI Khan Panna and Sara Hossain.

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