Fair polls possible if EC acts honestly: President

DHAKA, Dec 29, 2016 (BSS)- President Abdul Hamid today said it is possible to hold a fair election if the Election Commission (EC) discharges its duties with honesty and integrity.

"Fair political atmosphere is needed for holding fair polls and political parties must reach a consensus in this regard," said the President during discussion with a delegation of Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) held at the Darbar Hall of Bangabhaban over formation of a new EC.

The President's Press Secretary Joynal Abedin said the 10-member IOJ delegation led by its Chairman Abdul Latif Nezami placed an eight-point proposal over the formation of a search committee and the new EC during the 30-minute meeting.

The IOJ proposals include formation of the EC with eight members instead of existing five members and a search committee comprising qualified and neutral individuals.

The delegation said people want to see a reliable and credible EC. They said political problems need to be settled politically.

Describing the recently concluded Narayanganj City Corporation election as an ideal election, they said the polls infused hope among the people of the country.

Earlier, President Abdul Hamid held talks with leaders of Bangladesh Nationalist Front (BNF) over formation of new EC.

President's press secretary Joynal Abedin said BNF placed a five-point proposal, including one for appointing election commissioners in phases to maintain continuity of the EC.

BNF president Abul Kalam Azad also proposed to include a retired Inspector General of Police (IGP) in the EC.

He said BNF always expects neutral and strong EC to hold fair polls.

During the discussion, President Hamid said the opinion of political parties is very important for formation of new EC.

The President said different political parties are placing various constructive proposals during the talks, which will play positive role in forming a strong commission.

Secretaries concerned to the President were present.

President Abdul Hamid initiated the formal talks with political parties regarding formation of the EC. He held talks with BNP first on December 18.

The tenure of the current Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad-led EC expires in February next.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)