(BNP Communication) —  On behalf of Bangladesh Nationalist Party and as approved by the Party Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, the BNP delegation headed by its Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir presented the following statement with the party recommendations and annexure thereunto before the Chief Election Commissioner and the other Election Commissioners on October 15, 2017 at the Election Commission Secretariat, Election Bhaban, Agargaon, Dhaka.

Letter No.: BNP/EC/2017/10                                                                         Date: 15/10/2017

Assalamu Alaikum,

You are aware that Bangladesh Nationalist Party–BNP is one of the major and largest political parties of the country. The party sincerely believes that in a democracy, election is the only recognized system of people’s empowerment. BNP has taken part in all free, fair and credible elections and was mandated several times by the people to form government and run the country. BNP is firmly committed to protect people’s right to vote.

An independent, neutral and effective Election commission is undeniably the driving force for holding a free, fair, neutral and inclusive election. But elections held in the recent past, particularly the farcical 2014 election, and the subsequent local government elections and other elections that are still being held prove to be blatantly questionable. The Election commission miserably failed to demonstrate to the people any semblance of its neutrality, impartiality, fairness and honest resoluteness. In all these elections EC miserably failed to discharge it’s legal and constitutional obligations. What has happened in the name of election and still what is happening in reality only justifies our demand for an Election time Facilitator Government and formation of a neutral Election Commission. It also justifies our decision to boycott the voter less Jatya Sangsad Election in 2014.

These electoral farces have literally exposed the malafide intentions of the government to repeal the 13th amendment of the constitution, ie, the Care-taker System of the Govt.

The Election Commission has of late prepared a road-map for holding the National Election. Though there is much criticisms about the road-map, we are for the time being keeping the activities of the Election Commission under close watch. We on behalf of BNP do hereby present the following few proposals for consideration of the Election Commission for holding a free, fair, neutral, credible an acceptable and inclusive election under the prevalent political reality:

  1. Forming Neutral Facilitator Government For Election Time:

In Bangladesh, the Prime Minister monopolizes all powers. The country has witnessed over the last few years that a free, fair and credible election is not possible under such a partisan Prime Minister concentrating all powers in her hand, where government and administration are controlled alone by the Prime Minister. Under such circumstances it is not possible to hold a free, fair, neutral, inclusive and credible election without a Neutral Facilitator Government for Election Time. In order to hold a free, fair, credible and participatory election a Neutral Facilitator Government for Election Time is a must. This is the solemn demand of the people and the political parties. Bangladesh Nationalist Party- BNP will shortly present before the nation an outline and framework of the Neutral Facilitator Government for Election Time. We will formally hand over our proposed outline to the Election Commission as well.

  1. Level playing field for all parties and candidates:

The following are our salient proposals for creating a level playing field in the national parliamentary election for all parties and candidates:

  • Holding of Jatya Sangsad election after dissolution of Parliament:

The Supreme Court of Bangladesh, the apex court in the country, has recently termed the present parliament as “Dysfunctional” and “Immature”. On the other hand the ruling party’s past parliamentary records are also very worry-some. They have snatched away the voting right of the people time and again. They established one party system (BKSAL Government) through appending 4th amendment to the constitution and also blocked the path of free and fair election, and peaceful transfer of power by repealing the care-taker govt. system through 15th amendment of the constitution. The people of our country witnessed all these nefarious and despicable misdeeds of the government. In the present political reality of Bangladesh, it is not possible to have a free fair and credible election keeping the incumbent parliament alive, ignoring all the established norms and traditions of parliamentary democracy. Under the above circumstances, the incumbent parliament must be dissolved at least ninety (90) days prior to holding of the national election. And all necessary steps have to be taken to ensure holding of the next Jatya Sangsad election under a Neutral Facilitator Government for Election Time.

  • Government has to initiate dialogue with political parties:

The highest Court of Bangladesh has opined that an effective parliament cannot be established without neutral and intervention free parliament election. The highest court has observed, ÔIn the absence of credible election, a credible parliament cannot be established’.This means that a credible parliament cannot be formed without a credible election. At present, it is impossible to have a credible election under one party government. In order to have a free fair and credible election under a Neutral Facilitator Government for Election Time, the government must initiate dialogue with all political parties. In this regard, the Election Commission must play a positive role.

  • All cases filed against opposition political leaders and activists have to be withdrawn and all imprisoned political leaders and activists must be released:
  1. Under the military backed 1/11 Emergency Rule, innumerable cases were filed against many leaders and activists of different political parties and many were awarded sentence of different tenures. After coming to power through a stage-managed farcical election in 2008, Awami League government, through different tactics, had withdrawn/dissolved more than 7000 such cases against their senior leaders and activists including the Prime Minister and some other Ministers.

But the cases filed during the same reign against BNP leaders and activists including BNP Chairperson and senior leaders have neither been withdrawn nor dropped, rather the proceedings of these cases are now being vigorously accelerated with malafide intention.

  1. After coming to power through a stage-managed voter-less farcical election, the self-declared ruling government has filed large number of false and fabricated cases to harass leaders and activists of the opposition political parties specially those of BNP with a heinous political intension. On the other hand, the leaders and activists of the government party and its associates are getting scot free despite committing heinous crimes like murder, injury, robbery, and oppressing of women.
  1. Moreover, the leaders and activists of opposition political parties are being uninterruptedly terrorized through enforced-disappearance, murder, injury and harassment through filing false cases to keep them out of the electoral process with an evil design.

It is therefore demanded that-

  • To ensure a free fair and credible election through creation of level playing field, all cases lodged against leaders and activists of opposition political parties, especially those of BNP during unconstitutional 1/11 Emergency Rule have to be withdrawn.
  • All false and fabricated cases filed for harassment during the rule of the present government against opposition party leaders and activists must be withdrawn. And all political leaders and activists arrested with reference to these cases must be released unconditionally.
  • Now a days, police show hundreds of unknown persons as accused’s in false and fabricated cases and later arrest targeted opposition leaders and workers with reference to those cases. This must be stopped.

The Election Commission shall have to take extra initiative and take effective measures to ensure that the above demands are fulfilled.

  • The right to carry out normal democratic political activities should be restored immediately:

The current Prime Minister as head of the ruling party has formally kicked off her party’s Preparation for Election. The Prime Minister, and other ministers and senior leaders have already started election campaign without any hindrance, by misusing all government protocol, official facilities and privileges. On the other hand the opposition parties including BNP are not getting permission to conduct any political or organizational activities. Due to government obstruction, the opposition political parties cannot assemble within the four walls of a house for holding even any social ceremonies. Even a religious function like an Iftar Party and humanitarian activities like distribution of relief among the distressed, are being obstructed.

Under the above circumstances, from now on normal democratic right of all political parties must be ensured to hold public meetings, assemblies and all other political activities. Necessary measures have to be taken to ensure that the administration refrain from showing discriminatory attitude/behavior to any party.

  1. Administrative Affairs:
  • The present government has heavily politicized the administration. The present day administration has lost its balance. Different coercive measures are being adopted by the government to extract open loyalty of the administration. In this regard, the highest court of the country has also pointed out that mismanagement in the administration has assumed a staggering proportion.

The upcoming election must, therefore, be protected and freed from the partisan officers and the inevitable baneful effect of such circumstances. To achieve this goal, the administration has to be made free from the influence of party politics.

  • On the declaration of election schedule, all contractual appointments in government, semi-government, autonomous organizations and in the Foreign Missions have to be cancelled/terminated.
  • In pursuance of Article 126 of the constitution and section 5 of the RPO 1972 (Representation of People Order), all relevant and important ministries like Home, Public administration, Finance, Information, Defense, Local Government, Education, Primary and Mass Education, External affairs, Agriculture, Health and Family welfare etc, from 90 days ahead of election till the new elected government takes over, shall remain bound to act and take effective measures according to the demand by the Election Commission.
  • During election period, all decisions relating to election has to be taken by the decisions of the Election Commission. No decisions shall be taken individually by the Chief Election Commissioner or any other Commissioner alone.
  • No controversial or partisan persons shall be given any election related duty. Especially, the Metropolitan Police Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners of the Districts, Superintendents of Police, Metropolitan Deputy Police Commissioners, UNOs, and officers-in-charge of all police stations have to be withdrawn/changed. Transfer and posting of all these officers shall remain under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Election Commission. It has to be ensured that honest, efficient, and professional officers are posted to these posts.
  • No officer who worked in different capacities during last 5 years in a metropolitan city/district shall be posted as Police Commissioner/DC/SP in the same cities/districts. In the same manner those who served in any capacity in an upazilla/thana during last 5 years will not be posted as UNO/OC in the same upazilla/thana, as the case may be.
  • After posting or appointment, if an officer is found manifestly partisan to any political party, he should be immediately withdrawn from his duty; disciplinary action should be taken against him according to service rules and he shall not be reassigned any election duty whatsoever.
  • Management committees of all the educational institutions shall be dissolved six months prior to the election and replaced by the local administration.
  1. Use of Voting Machine:

Most of the countries in the world that used EVM/DVM for voting in their elections have been subjected to wide spread vote rigging and manipulation. These countries have seen blatant proof of misuse of voting machines. Bangladesh Nationalist Party strongly opposes use of EVM/DVM for voting, and its objection to the use of EVM/DVM for voting has been in the meantime communicated through a formal letter to the Election Commission. Copy of the letter is annexed. Bangladesh Nationalist Party would like to reiterate that under no circumstances any EVM/DVM or any machine of this sort shall be used in the election process in the national elections.

  1. Delimitation of the constituencies:

Delimitation of the constituencies as existed prior to 2008 national election must be restored. BNP in June 2017 submitted a letter to the Election Commission justifying its demand for such restoration. Copy of the letter is annexed. Opinion and advice of political parties/alliance have to be obtained before hand in case of deviation, if any, at all. In the election road-map recently published by the Election Commission, it is mentioned that the law or delimitation of the constituencies will be finalized in February 2018. In the same document it is also mentioned that the delimitation of the constituencies must be completed and Gazetted by December, 2017 which is contradictory, illogical, and unacceptable.

  1. Proposed Amendments to Representation of People Order, 1972 (RPO):

We are presenting certain proposals for the amendment to/addition of various clauses of The Representation of the People Order, 1972 (RPO) in attachment form (Annexure-A). Some of the most obvious and important amendments/additions are as follows:

  • Deployment of Defense Forces for carrying out election duties:

 

“Defense Services of Bangladesh” must be reinstated as a ‘Law Enforcing Agency’ along with other forces, in Article 2 (XIaa) of “Definition Clause”. Defense Forces must be deployed in every constituency for electoral duty with magisterial power at least one week prior to election and till the newly elected government takes over. They will perform intense patrol duty along with polling center on the day of election.

  • To ensure proper execution of election rules and regulations, Election Commission’s first class gazetted officers shall be vested with magisterial power.
  • Visible water mark must be used in ballot paper without affecting distinctiveness of the symbol of the political party and or any candidate.
  • The officers of the Election Commission must be given priority while appointing the Returning and Assistant Returning Officers so that the control of the Commission is strengthened.
  • Initially, a draft list of the voting centers shall be published. After active consideration of the opinion, objection and demands of the candidate and voters of respective constituency, a final list has to be published within the specified time.
  • While preparing the panel of election officers/polling officers, information regarding them in a relevant form shall be collected for ensuring transparency. A suggested form’ is annexed. No controversial officer shall be included in the panel. Presiding Officer or Assistant Presiding Officer shall not be given election duty in his own workplace or his own constituency/upazilla. The polling officer shall not be given any responsibility in his own union parishad/municipality, or in his own ward in a city-corporation.
  • At least fifty (50) days must be given for submission of nomination, scrutiny and withdrawal of nomination paper and election campaign. Especially for nomination submission, minimum ten (10) days shall be given after the publication of the declaration of election schedule, and at least 21 days shall be given for election campaign after the day of withdrawal of nomination papers.
  • While submitting nomination paper, the relevant candidate need not submit any certificate pertaining to his nomination by a political party. On or before the date of nomination paper withdrawal, the candidate shall submit to the concerned Returning Officer a certificate containing the name of the nominee of the relevant political party for the respective constituency, under the signature of the chief of the concerned political party, or under the signature of the authorized person of the relevant chief of the political party. To this end, necessary amendments/changes will be made in the relevant laws, rules and nomination forms.
  • a) In addition to the existing provision of submitting nomination papers to the Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officer, provision shall be ensured for submitting nomination paper to the Election Commission and also online.
  1. b) Provision of depositing ‘Cash’ money as security deposit with the nomination papers shall be rescinded. The security will be deposited solely in the form of bank draft/pay-order/treasury
  • In order to withdraw nomination papers, the candidate must be present in person, and if the candidate is in prison, his nomination shall be withdrawn in writing through proper channel of the appropriate authority, in physical presence of his nominated representative having the incumbent’s written authorization. During scrutiny of the nomination papers, if any question arises about the authenticity or accuracy of the proposer’s or seconder’s signature, the physical presence of the respective proposer/seconder shall be required to settle the issue and a legal decision shall be made accordingly.
  • A provision shall be added to the Representation of People Order (RPO), 1972 so that a candidate can appoint one election agent each for every upazilla, metropolitan thana and its fraction, if any, under relevant parliamentary constituency.
  • a) In polling centers, all extra empty ballot boxes, ballot-filled ballot boxes, and ballot boxes in use shall be placed and preserved within the sight of the Assistant Presiding Officer, Polling Officer, and polling agents. The number of ballot boxes and the number imprinted in the body of the ballot boxes shall be demonstrated to the polling agents.
  1. b) On completion of the voting, counting process of the ballots shall be started immediately and the counting process shall be completed without any break in presence of all polling agents. On closure of the counting, the Presiding Officer shall not leave the polling station without handing over the final Result Sheet under his official seal and signature to each of the agents present in the polling Centre.
  • The returning officer shall ensure announcement of unofficial results of every constituency on the day of polling as fast as possible after consolidating the results of all constituencies in presence of the candidate or his representative. The Election Commission will publish the Official Gazette of the winning candidates within 48 hours of the completion of voting.
  • With the announcement of the election schedule, a ‘Complaint Redress Centre’ will have to be operative in each office of the Returning Officer, Assistant Returning Officer, District Election Officer and every upazila/thana Election Officer. Election related complaints or grievance shall be addressed or disposed of within 12 (twelve) hours of receiving the complaint and the complainant will be notified of the result/action taken in writing.
  • After the declaration of election schedule, all members of the law enforcing agencies in every constituency shall use a visible name, rank badge and uniform while performing their duty. No member of the law enforcing agency shall perform their duty in plain cloth.
  1. Recommendations for amendment to the Conduct of Election Rules, 2008:

Our recommendation for amendment to/addition of Conduct of Election Rules, 2008 is annexed herewith. Some of the note-worthy recommendations are as follows:

  • Amendment to form 1 of the nomination paper of the candidates in election of Jatya Sangsad: The 6A of Section 3 of the Conduct of Election Rule 2008 is to be amended as follows:

‘The candidates of a political party’ is to be substituted by ‘candidates of political party/alliance’ and the words ‘the nomination in favor of my political party is hereby added’ shall be deleted.

  • The list of the valid candidates must be published immediately after the scrutiny process is over.
  • While distributing the election materials for every polling center, a photocopy of the delivery invoice containing the number of ballot paper and ballot boxes shall be handed over to the candidate or his agent. It will enable the candidate or his agent to verify and cross-check with the invoice the ballot paper and the ballot boxes actually supplied in the center.
  • No symbol shall be given to a candidate or a political party which resembles or appears to resemble the existing and reserved/earmarked symbol of any registered political party.
  1. Proposals for amendment to the Code of Conduct (for political parties and candidates), 2008:

The Code of Conduct 2008 for the political parties and candidates should be amended as follows:

  • After the declaration of Electoral Schedule, the respective Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officer will have to be entrusted with the authority to accord permission to all political parties and candidates for holding meetings, rallies and assemblies to ensure equal rights.
  • The privileged government Personnel and VVIPs included in the definition of political party and candidates Code of Conduct in clause 2 (11) is a great hindrance to creating level playing field in the election. These words giving privilege to the important persons and VIPs must be dropped from the Code of Conduct. It goes against the principle of creating equal opportunities for all. Nobody should be given any opportunity to go for election campaign under the guise of a VIP/VVIP.
  • a) In case of the parliamentary election, ‘Pre-election Time’ will mean ninety (90) days ahead of the election; and in case of election in the vacant seat it will encompass a period from declaration of schedule date till publication of the election results in the official Gazette. This re-definition as to the ‘Pre-election Time’ has to be incorporated in the relevant clauses in the Rules.
  1. b) On the beginning of ‘pre-election time’, orders must be issued for depositing all legal arms. All illegal arms have to be recovered without being politically motivated.
  1. Proposals for amendment to Political Party Registration Rules, 2008:

Our recommendations for the amendment to Political Party Registration Rules, 2008 are attached. Some of the important amendments are:

  • The Election Commission shall not, twelve (12) months prior to completion of the term of the Jatya Sangsad, publish any notification or invite applications for registration for a new political party intending to participate in the Jatya Sangsad Election.
  • The Sub-Rule (5), (6) and (7) of Rule 7 of the Political Party Registration Rules 2008 must be rescinded. Because, there is a scope for filing application for registration of new political parties under Sub Rule (1), (2), (3) and (4) of the Rule 7 of Political Party Registration Rules, 2008 which is also inscribed in Section 90D of The Representation Of The People Order, 1972.
  1. Policy/Guideline for appointment of local and foreign observers of Jatya Sangsad Election:

Observers from home and abroad have been playing vital role in holding fair and acceptable elections. We are furnishing the following underlining proposals so that transparency of local observers in the country’s election monitoring activities and, Transparency and arrival of encouraging number of foreign observers can be ensured:

  • Appointment of national and local level observers during election time:
  1. The local election observer groups intending to observe election should be registered with concerned Bangladesh legal authority as per rules at least 3 years prior to the election.
  1. Any leader or worker of a political party or any person demonstrating open loyalty to any political party, or any organization or body under his/her control or any person working under that organization shall not be eligible to be enlisted and appointed as election observer.
  1. The Election Commission shall enlist election observer bodies or election observing persons at least 30 (thirty) days prior to the announcement of election schedule.
  1. The Election Commission will publish the names and identity of all enlisted national and local election observer bodies and persons engaged for any particular constituency and/or area within 7 (seven) days of announcement of election schedule.
  1. No local observer shall be allowed to work in his own electoral/polling area. No person or organization shall be given any duty as election observer who are manifestly partisan to political parties or manifestly loyal to any political leader.
  • Regarding appointment and deployment of Foreign Election Observers:

 

  1. To ease and facilitate visa procedure for foreign observers, a ‘One-Stop’ service shall be established under the supervision of Election Commission at the Election Commission Secretariat, with appropriate representatives from Ministries of Home and Foreign affairs.
  1. For assisting the foreign observers, a ‘Help-Desk’ shall be set-up in the airport. The foreign observers shall be provided with a copy election guide-map from the airport. Necessary security arrangements is to be ensured for the foreign observers.
  1. On updating the voter list:

            Our recommendation for updating the voter list is as follows:

  • Inclusion of expatriate Bangladeshis in the voter list:

The expatriate Bangladeshis are very eager to be enlisted as voters. At present they cannot exercise their voting rights. Considering their long outstanding demand to become voters and considering their contribution to our national economy, the expatriate Bangladeshis must be enlisted as voters. It’s worth mentioning that expatriates in many democratic countries have opportunity to become voters.

  • To include all eligible citizens in the voter list:

There is an allegation that updating of voter list has not been done appropriately, although the enumerators are supposed to go door to door for updating the voter list. Under this situation, it must be ensured that all persons eligible to be voters are invariably included in the voter list.

  • The names of the deceased must be deleted from the voter list.
  • Enlisting every imprisoned citizens in the voter list:

Every person eligible to be enlisted as voter must be registered as voter in the voter list. All political leaders and workers who are eligible to be voters, but are now being detained in prison/custody/detention, their names must be included in the voter list in the process of updating the voter list. Other persons who are imprisoned but eligible for being voters must also be included in the voter list.

  • The voter list containing photographs of the voters, which is supplied to the election official in the polling center, the same voter list containing photographs of the voters must be supplied to the contesting candidates and their election agents.
  • There is an allegation that, in many cases, photographs of the voters in the voter list are hazy and obscure. In some cases, photographs have been posted under wrong names. While updating the voter list, all complaints should be entertained to determine and ensure the correctness of the voter list.
  • All persons whose names appear in the voter list should be allowed to exercise their voting rights, on the very strength of the voter list, without any hindrance.
  1. Training on Election Laws and Rules:
  • The Election Commission will arrange to impart training to the District and Upazilla level workers/prospective polling agents of the political parties on Election Laws and Rules & Regulations.
  • The Election Commission will direct the District and Upazilla administration to extend necessary assistance and cooperation to the political parties in holding training to their election and polling agents. The Election Commission will take effective measures to ensure necessary security for the training programs arranged by the political parties.
  1. Voter awareness campaign:

 

During last few years, general voters developed fear, uncertainty, apathy and a kind of distrust about the total election process in Bangladesh. In view of this disarray, effective arrangement will have to be taken to organize Voter Awareness Program to encourage the voters to come to the polling center to exercise their voting rights without fear or intimidation.

  1. Deployment of the Law Enforcing Agencies:
  • In order to ensure transparency in the deployment of law enforcement agencies in the polling station, a committee will have to be formed in each District and Metropolitan area comprising of respective Returning Officer, Deputy Commissioner of the District, Deputy Police Commissioner, Representative of the Defense Forces, Superintendent of Police, Representative of the RAB, Ansar-VDP Officer and where applicable, the Coast Guard and BGB representatives. This committees will deploy law enforcing agencies in every polling station objectively in an impartial manner considering the political reality and the situation obtaining in the area.
  • Ansar and VDP members belonging to a village or ward or where they are voters shall not be deployed in their own ward/village/polling center for duty on the Election Day. It should also be ensured that the member of the law enforcing agencies thus deployed are not in any way associated with a political party or a candidate.
  • Currently, a party cadre force comprising of ruling party activists has been created under the guise of ‘Community Police’. Such members of the community police should not be allowed to perform any duty relating to election. Any person wearing a dress or uniform inscribed with ‘Security Personnel’ must not be given any duty or responsibility in the polling center.
  1. On Media:

 

All media so far shut down and closed and/or declared barred to be reopened should be made operative. During election time, equal campaign facilities and other opportunities for all political parties and candidates must be ensured in all the print and electronic media. Freedom of press and media must be ensured. The controversial Article 57 of the ICT Act must be repealed.

  1. On Mobile Network:
  • Mobile network shall remain open on the Election Day. Internet service shall continue uninterruptedly and the speed of the bandwidth must not be reduced or limited in any manner. Social media must be allowed to play free and must not be in any way restricted. The Election Commission should give necessary instructions in this regard and ensure its implementation.
  • Controversial persons in the government, semi-government, and autonomous bodies who can intercept through BTRC, BTCL, BSCCL, mobile phone and social media should be replaced with neutral and efficient professionals.
  • All concerned mobile operators shall be bound to provide the Election Commission with the call list and recorded conversations of the officers assigned to election duty (including those of the members of the law enforcing agencies) during ‘pre-election time’. Necessary directives have to be issued promulgating that video, still pictures, and news and information released/published in print and electronic media shall be acceptable as evidence in election related offences.
  1. Installing CC Camera in Polling Centers:

 

All polling centers shall have to be equipped and covered with necessary number of CC Cameras. All cameras set in the offices of Returning Officers, Assistant Returning Officers, and Presiding Officer’s should be monitored in presence of the candidate’s authorized agents.

  1. Measures to contain use of black money and muscle power in the election:

Use of black money and muscle power is a serious impediment and obstacle to holding of fair and neutral election. The Election Commission will take objective measures to resist use of black money and muscle power in the elections.

  1. Entry-pass to enter Election Bhaban:

At present, there is unwritten restriction on representatives of political parties from entering Election Bhaban. On the other hand pepresentatives of political parties need to enter into Election Bhaban for election purpose. Every political party should be issued at least ten (10) entry passes to enter the Election Bhaban. The entry passes may be issued in favour of the Secretary General/General Secretary of the party. BNP had recently sent a letter to Election Commission to this effect (Annexed).

  1. Implementation of the suggestions made by political parties and civil society representatives:

 

The Election Commission has by now held dialogues with the members of civil society, representatives of the political parties and the media. As per media report, in order to hold a free fair and credible election, the esteemed representatives in their discussion highlighted strong arguments in favour of establishment of a Neutral Facilitator Government for Election Time, holding of election after dissolution of the parliament, deployment of the Armed Forces during election time, creation of level playing field for all political parties and ensuring a neutral administration free from influence of political parties. We are very respectful to the valuable opinions expressed in the dialogue by the civil society, the journalists and the political parties. We are thankful to them for their considered opinion. For ensuring a free fair and credible election, these valuable recommendations of the members of the civil society, the journalists, the political parties and other stakeholder must be taken into positive consideration. Because, the people of the country very genuinely intend to see fruitful and effective implementation of the advices/ recommendations put forward in the dialogues.

In order to ensure proper implementation of the above-mentioned recommendations, we have attached herewith some amendment proposals in the form of annexure and attachment, relating to election related laws, rules and regulations. We do believe that, if the Election Commission would put in sincere and objective consideration, it is very much possible to implement these proposals for the greater national interest of holding a free, fair, credible and inclusive election.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party–BNP is firmly committed to the idea of consolidating democracy through holding a free, fair, acceptable, /and/ credible/ inclusive election. BNP wants to sincerely cooperate with the Election Commission to ensure holding of a free fair and credible election. To restore peoples’ right to franchise and to ensure transparent and acceptable election procedure, BNP would like to place before the Election Commission, if necessary, some constructive recommendations and advice from time to time.

Due to controversial and dubious role of the outgoing Election Commission, the people at large totally lost their trust and confidence on the Election Commission. The people saw the Commission as a surrogate of the ruling government- they haplessly marked it as ‘His Master’s Voice’. The present Election Commission has to move out of this vicious cycle to regain the confidence of the people. We want to genuinely believe that the road-map given and the dialogues held by the Election Commission will not trifle into mere eye-wash, The Election Commission itself has to ensure that all these maneuvers are not mere farcical time buying exercise.

The Election Commission is an independent constitutional body. Its responsibility is not to hold a routine, hackneyed or stereotyped so-called election just for the sake of holding it. The solemn responsibility of this constitutional body is to present the nation with free, fair, neutral, credible, acceptable and participatory elections. The entire nation look forward to your utmost sincerity, efficiency, competence courageous and fearless strides for holding a free, fair, neutral, credible and inclusive elections in the days ahead.

(Annexure as stated).

We wish you every success.

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir

Secretary General

Bangladesh Nationalist Party – BNP

 

Mr. KM Nurul Huda

Chief Election Commissioner

Bangladesh Election Commission

Copy:

  1. Election Commissioner (All), Bangladesh Election Commission
  2. Secretary, Election Commission Secretariat, Election Building, Agargaon, Dhaka-1207

 Attachment: As stated (23 pages)

Appendix -A: The Representation of the People Order, 1972 (RPO) amendment proposal (page 11).

Appendix-B; Selection Conduct Rules, 2008 Amendment Proposal (3 pages)

Appendix-C: Political parties and candidates’ conduct rules, 2008 amendment proposals (1 page).

Appendix-D: Political Party Registration Rules, 2008 Amendment Proposal (1 page).

Annexure-A: letter written to Election Commission of Bangladesh (1 page) on behalf of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-BNP requesting not to use EVM/DVM machine (4 pages).

Annexure-B:   A letter written to Election Commission of Bangladesh (1 page) on behalf of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-BNP regarding de-limitation of Constituency (1 page).

Annexure-C: election officer / voting officer panel form (1 page).

Annexure-D : A letter written to Election Commission of Bangladesh  on behalf of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-BNP requesting for providing ‘Entry Pass’(1 page).

A meeting between the following representatives of Bangladesh Nationalist party headed by its General Secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commissioners took place at the Election Commission Secretariat on October 15, 2017.

  1. Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir
  2. Khandoker Mosharraf Hossain
  3. Barrister Moudud Ahmed
  4. Barrister Jamir Uddin Sircar
  5. Tariqul Islam
  6. G (R) Mahbubur Rahman
  7. Barrister Rafiqul Islam Mia
  8. Mirza Abbas
  9. Gayeswar Chandra Roy
  10. Abdul Moyeen Khan
  11. Md. Nazrul Islam Khan
  12. Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury
  13. Abdul Halim
  14. Md. Ismail Zabihullah
  15. Abdur Rashid Sircar
  16. Advocate Ruhul Kabir Rizvi