Bid to amend RPO 1972: EC has hit final nail in its coffin, speakers say
Speakers at a virtual discussion said that the Election Commission has hit the final nail in its coffin through its latest initiative to revise the Representation of the People Order (RPO), 1972.
Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan), a civil society platform, organised the virtual discussion, attended by a former Appellate Division judge, eminent lawyer and civil society members, among others.
Several important provisions that empower the EC to cancel the candidature of aspirants and announce election schedule were absent in the proposed revised RPO.
"We will have to make sure about it [whether the EC has backtracked from its move to amend the RPO]. We will have to remain vigilant in this regard," said former judge of the Appellate Division, Justice MA Matin.
"They [EC] will not be able to do anything if the media remains alert," he hoped.
"Curbing its own power through amending law is tantamount to suicide. Everyone knows that the present election commission is dysfunctional. Through its move to amend the law, the EC will earn more backlash from people," said local government expert Prof Tofail Ahmed.
Former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder said it is very unfortunate that the EC itself wants to curb its own power.
He added that political parties have failed to play their due role to force the EC to backtrack from its move.
Eminent lawyer Shahdeen Malik said in the last three years, EC has proven that it is inefficient when it comes to holding free and fair elections.
Shujan Secretary Badiul Alam Majumder said through its move to revise the RPO, 1972, the EC has hit the final nail in its coffin.
Shujan President M Hafizuddin Khan presided over the meeting while former election commissioner Sakhawat Hussain, senior journalists -- Abu Sayeed Khan, Sohrab Hossain, among others, spoke in the discussion.