Last chance for BNP
The Election Commission wants the cabinet division and three ministries concerned to do the administrative job ahead of the parliamentary polls in consultation with it.
Talking to reporters yesterday, Election Commissioner M Sakhawat Hussain said the EC has already suggested incorporating a provision in the Representation of People Order to that end.
"We have proposed that the cabinet division and home, LGRD and public administration ministries consult the commission while discharging administrative duties," Sakhawat added.
Often, he noted, their decisions affect the conduct of the polls. The EC wants to work closely with them so that they do not take such decisions.
Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said BNP will get no more chances to participate in the EC's ongoing dialogue on electoral reforms if it skips the talks tomorrow.
The main opposition party was invited three times to the dialogue, which the EC has been holding with the registered political parties since June 7. But it refused to join, terming the commission “controversial". It did not even reply to the commission's third letter sent on July 6 requesting the party to sit tomorrow.
"We've given them [BNP] enough time. But they didn't join the talks. We cannot wait any longer for them because we need to write a report on the outcome of the dialogue," the CEC said.
He was talking to reporters after talks with Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP-Matin) at the EC secretariat in the capital.
About talks with the ruling Awami League, Huda said it is likely to be in the first week of August.
AL in a letter yesterday morning said it could not join the talks yesterday due to the cabinet meeting.
Its Office Secretary Abdul Mannan Khan and Deputy Office Secretary Mrinal Kanti Das handed over the letter to the EC, requesting a new date.
AL too got three dates for the talks so far. The party could not sit on June 9, as the finance minister placed the budget proposal on that day. The dialogue was first rescheduled for June 18 and then for yesterday.
Earlier, Election Commissioner Sakhawat Hussain said the commission plans to introduce electronic voting machine in the Narayanganj City Corporation polls.
He also said the demarcation of the newly announced Narayanganj and Comilla city corporations is already underway.
Elections to the two city corporations should be held by November this year and January next year respectively, he added.