[Zafa Noor, USA.]
The Election Commission in Bangladesh is apparently in good company, discussing “reforms” with ultra-right Islamist parties while plots are being designed to dismantle their mainstream, pro-democracy, secular counterparts.
Islami Oikko Jote (IOJ) was the first in line to be invited by the Election Commissioners (ECs) to discuss various aspects of election reform (including the reforms within political parties). The EC must be going from least to most important of the parties, considering that the IOJ won only 2 seats (out of 300) during 2001 parliamentary election.
Mufti Fazlul Huq Amini, the current chairman of IOJ was among the 10 people that met with the ECs on Wednesday, September 12. Amini later told BBC that he was turned off by the rule that one-third of the party committee seats should be filled by women members at all levels. He said it was not possible to allot 33% of the committee seats to women, considering the social and cultural reality of Bangladesh. IOJ opposed the proposal of using transparent ballot box for the polling, and proposed to increase the election expenses and reduce the party registration fees and made several other suggestions to EC.
What are the implications of sending an IOJ member to the parliament to represent a constituent? Their mandate pretty much revolves around fatwa, shariah, islamization of Bangladesh etc. Not that there is anything wrong in preaching one