A nonpartisan group has proposed 14 guidelines, including formation of the Election Commission with non-partisan people, for the 12th parliamentary elections scheduled to be held in December 2023.
The group – Odolio Rajnoitik Shamajik Mancha (Non-partisan Political Social Forum) – proposed the formation of an upper house of the national parliament with nonpartisan representatives from various professional and occupational groups who will form the election-time government and a new Election Commission.
Regarding the Election Commission, the group proposed it should be constituted by the president and be a completely constitutional entity, free from government control.
The proposals included that the commission should only be governed by rules framed by the national assembly and the decision of the Election Commission on any matter relating to the election should be deemed final.
The Odolio Rajnoitik Shamajik Mancha also proposed the newly formed election commission be deemed to have semi-judicial standing.
The 14 guidelines were proposed during a discussion about the election commission at the Sangskriti Bikash Kendra (Cultural Development Centre) in Dhaka on Friday.
During the event, Professor Humayun Kabir Hiru, chief coordinator of Odolio Rajnoitik Shamajik Mancha, said, "We want the formation of a proper Election Commission under the constitution and for a proper election to be held under that. We want that change to arrive on the golden jubilee of our country's independence."
The speakers during the event noted that despite being very urgent, no full-fledged law has been enacted on the formation of the Election Commission yet, which is unfortunate and has led to elections being held in the interest of particular political parties.
Due to the irregularities in the election process, the general public is choosing not to vote and this needs to change, the speakers added.
They said a powerful Election Commission alone will not be enough to hold an acceptable election and that a political compromise is equally important.
Publisher of Ankur Publishing, Mezbah Uddin Ahmed, lawyer Sadia Arman, and retired joint secretary Abdus Salam Mia, among others, spoke at the occasion.