AL suggests e-voting for free, fair election

DHAKA, Jan 11, 2017 (BSS) - Awami League (AL) today proposed introduction of e-voting in the next general elections as a ruling party delegation led by its chief Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined talks with President Abdul Hamid on electoral system.

"They (AL) submitted few proposals on the electoral system including election commission . . . one of the proposals suggested introduction of e-voting system in general elections," President's press secretary Joynal Abedin told BSS after the talks.

He said during the 90-minute meeting starting at 4.05 pm, the 19-member delegation comprising senior Awami League leaders, proposed enactment of a law in line with the constitution to appoint the chief election commissioner (CEC) and other commissioners.

The Bangabhaban spokesman said the proposal for enacting a law was one of the common suggestions put forward by several other parties since the president initiated the talks on election commission last month. "If possible, a suitable law can be made or an ordinance can be promulgated right now with a view to appointing the chief election commissioner and other commissioners," he quoted Sheikh Hasina as saying at the meeting.

According to Abedin the Awami League president, however, said if the short span of time made it difficult to enact the law immediately it could be framed later for the future elections.

"Sheikh Hasina also said the President could appoint CEC and Election commissioners in whichever process he thinks suitable," Abedin said.

The Awami League chief, he said, reiterated her party's loyalty to the country's constitution and existing laws and regulations conveyed its "full confidence and trust to the deep wisdom and well-consideration of the honorable President's long political career".

"Awami League will extend full support to any righteousness step taken by the President in constituting the Election Commission," Abedin quoted her as saying.

He said Sheikh Hasina told the president that her party "doesn't want any controversy regarding election in the future".

"We want that whichever party is voted to power by the people in next elections will govern the country," he quoted the premier as saying.

The president, he said, on the other hand, told the ruling party delegation that he initiated the talks with political parties on the election commission as the role of the crucial constitutional body was vital in staging polls.

"It will be possible to form a strong EC with the cooperation of all political parties," he quoted the president as saying.

Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader accompanied Sheikh Hasina in the talks along with senior party leaders and advisers Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Suranjit Sengupta, AMA Muhith, HT Imam, Mohammad Nasim, Yusuf Hossain Humayun, Matia Chowdhury, Sahara Khatun and Syed Ashraful Islam.

Dr Dipu Moni and Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Abdul Matin Khasru, Dr Hasan Mahmud, Advocate Anisul Huq, Mohammad Zamir and Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap, were other members of the delegation.

Secretaries concerned to the President were present during the meeting.

President Hamid initiated the formal talks with political parties about the EC formation with holding discussions with BNP on December 18 last year.

He so far held meeting with 23 political parties.

The president took the dialogue initiative as the tenure of the current CEC Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad-led EC expires in February.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)