[Dhaka Correspondent] Awami League and Workers Party of Bangladesh have decided to oppose the Election Commission’s proposal for its empowerment to punish people on charge of contempt. In the dialogs with the commission on electoral reforms, they will also demand that the political party registration process be simplified and no parties based on religion be registered.
Leaders of both the parties at a Saturday meeting at the Dhaka residence of the acting Awami League president, Zillur Rahman, also decided to place identical proposals on electoral reforms at the dialogs with the Election Commission in line with the 31-point reforms proposals of the Awami League-led alliance.
They also decided to oppose the “irrelevant and illogical” provisions on controlling political parties the commission proposed in its draft reforms of electoral laws. Awami League, earlier, decided to hold meetings with the AL-led alliance components to mobilize support for placing identical proposals at the talks with the commission.
Awami League sat with the Workers Party Saturday, beginning the meetings with the alliance components. “We have decided to place identical proposals during the dialog with the Election Commission based on the 31-point reforms proposals earlier announced by the AL-led alliance,” Awami League presidium member Tofail Ahmed told newsmen at a briefing on the meeting.
He said although the commission included a number of provisions of the 13-point proposals of the AL-led alliance, it included some provisions to control politics and such provisions would be opposed in the dialog.
“We will take up the issue of the registration process for political parties and will demand simplification of the process,” Tofail said.
Workers Party president, Rashed Khan Menon, said the alliance components should place identical proposals, opposing the commission’s efforts to control political party activities.
“Election Commission included a provision proposing its empowerment to punish a person on charge of its contempt as enjoyed by the High Court and this cannot be accepted,” Menon told reporters, saying there is no such provision anywhere in the world. He said the registration of political parties was aimed at controlling the parties, but the Election Commission is not the authority concerned to control politics. “The Election Commission is responsible for holding elections and not controlling politics,” Menon said.
He said the AL-led alliance components would propose that no religious extremist and communal forces should be registered.
“If we consider the constitution, religious political parties have no right to do politics in Bangladesh,” Menon said, adding they would demand that the commission should uphold the constitution by not allowing any political party based on religion to contest in the polls.
He said Workers Party had always supported elections without money and muscle power, but the commission should make it clear with specific provisions.
Awami League leaders Mukul Bose, Akhtaruzzaman, Sultan Mansur Ahmad, Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Rahmat Ali, Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin and Dipu Moni attended the meeting with Workers Party leaders Bimal Biswas, Haider Akbar Khan Rano, Anisur Rahman Mallik and Quamrul Ahsan.
Awami League will sit with the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Inu) Monday.