Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda yesterday said the national election would not be inclusive without the participation of the BNP.
“The BNP is a big political party. How is it possible to hold an inclusive election without its participation? The election will not be participatory without the BNP. I had said it earlier and I am saying it again,” he said.
He came up with the comment when ruling Awami League collected nomination form for the presidential candidate at Nirbachan Bhaban.
The CEC expressed the hope that the BNP and other political parties would contest the national election likely to be held by the end of this year.
“Still I hope that the BNP and all the political parties will contest the polls.”
The BNP boycotted the January 5, 2014 elections demanding polls under a non-partisan interim administration. It has still been demanding the same, but the ruling party says the next general election will be held under the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina-led administration.
The BNP has recently started alleging that the government is trying to keep party chief Khaleda Zia and her party away from the polls as well as politics.
Rejecting the allegation, ruling party leaders said it is the responsibility a political party to contest the polls, not of the government to bring it in the election.
Hasina in parliament has recently outlined the election-time government.
CEC Nurul Huda said the commission always wants participation of all political parties in the election and they would be able to avail themselves of the same facilities.
The EC would conduct the election in a neutral manner, he assured.
The ruling AL has collected the party's nomination paper on behalf of President Abdul Hamid to run the presidency for another term.
A team of the AL parliamentary members, led by Jatiya Sangsad Chief Whip ASM Feroz, went to the EC at Agargaon in the capital and collected the nomination paper yesterday morning, Asaduzzaman Arju, joint secretary (media and publications) of the EC, told The Daily Star.
The other members of the team are Jatiya Sangsad whips Md Iqbalur Rahim and Md Shahiduzzaman Sarker.
If any other political party that has representation in parliament does not nominate any candidate, Hamid would be elected unopposed in the elections, Asaduzzaman added.
On Thursday, Hasina formally conveyed the president of her party's nomination to him to run the presidency for another term.
Earlier on January 31, the AL Parliamentary Board made the decision at a meeting at the Gono Bhaban with party chief Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The tenure of Hamid, who took office on April 24, 2013, will expire on April 23 this year.
The presidential election is scheduled to be held on February 18.
According to article 123 of the Constitution, presidential election has to be held within 90 to 60 days of expiry of the president's five-year term.
The presidential election is deemed crucial as the next parliamentary polls will be held at the end of this year. This means the next president will be in office for four years of the next government.
Before taking oath as the president, Hamid was elected lawmaker seven times and also served as the Speaker twice.
He became acting president on March 14, 2013 after the then president Zillur Rahman was admitted to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore on March 10. Zillur breathed his last at the hospital on March 20.