Despite the government's insistence that it does not have enough time to make a law to form an election commission, experts say if the government has the will, it is possible to do so even now.
Besides, they said if it is not possible to enact the law, the president can promulgate an ordinance in this regard.
The experts made these observations on Wednesday at a virtual press conference organised to present the final draft of the "Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioner Appointment Act 2021" law, prepared by Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan), a civil society platform.
"The law minister says there is not enough time to make a law. We disagree with his statement," said constitutional expert Dr Shahdeen Malik.
"This draft is presented to show that it is possible to enact a law in this period. Within a month and a half, this law can be enacted by parliament, and if not, it can be enacted by a presidential ordinance."
The eminent jurist said if there is no law, then the chances of arbitrariness are much higher.
If a transparent process is ensured, any undemocratic process will disappear, he added.
Dr Shahdeen Malik said it would not be constitutional for the president to form a search committee without enacting a law.
"The government has come up with a method to fool the people by forming a search committee," he said. "We all want the elections to be fair and the first step may be to form the next election commission by a law."
Shujan Treasurer, Syed Abu Naser Bakhtiyar Ahmed, presided over the press conference conducted by its Secretary, Dr Badiul Alam Majumdar.
Shujan central coordinator, Dilip Kumar Sarkar, read out the draft.
The term of the existing EC headed by Nurul Huda will end on 14 February.
The president has appointed the EC through search committees twice in the past. This time there are discussions in various quarters on the formation of the law.
"Although our constitution talks about making appointments to the Election Commission as per law, the law has not been enacted till date. This is because our politicians do not want to come under any restrictions," Dr Badiul Alam Majumder said.
"We think it is very important to make the law. This will create the possibility of appointing right and qualified persons to the commission."
He said the draft law emphasises the formation of a search committee, the qualifications of commissioners, the transparency of the work of the committee, and ensuring the continuity of the work of the commission.
He said they will meet the law minister soon and hand over the draft law.
Former election commissioner, Brigadier General (retd) M Sakhawat Hussain, said many parties concerned are working for the election, but the
commission has the primary responsibility of conducting elections.
The commission has immense powers in this regard and by exercising those powers, it tries to conduct elections in a fair and impartial manner, he
M Sakhawat Hussain said, "From experience of working with the commission, I can say that conducting elections is a very complex process and qualified people are needed to manage elections successfully."
Human rights activist Zakir Hossain said the work of formulating the law has progressed a bit with presenting the draft.
"Now the government can take this draft into consideration and enact a law as soon as possible," he added.
Shujan executive member, Professor Dr Shahnaz Huda, Sylhet District President Faruk Mahmud Chowdhury, and Rangpur District President Akbar Hossain, spoke at the programme.