BNP on Thursday turned down the “Appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners Bill-2022" passed by parliament, saying it is not acceptable to people.
"We don’t accept the bill on the Election Commission. This bill is not only acceptable to us, but also to the people of the country. No one will abide by the bill as it’s not acceptable to people,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Speaking at a discussion, he also said the current parliament has no moral rights and jurisdiction to pass such a bill since it was not elected with people’s votes.
BNP’s Dhaka north and south city units jointly arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club marking January 25 as ‘Baksal and black day of annihilating democracy, commemorating the introduction of one-party rule in the country on this day in 1975.
Earlier in the day, parliament passed the Bill by voice votes to ensure a legal framework for selecting the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners
Law Minister Anisul Huq placed the Bill in parliament on January 23 seeking to give a legal shield to the current and previous Election Commissions formed through search committees. It was sent to the respective scrutiny committee for deeper examination.
On Wednesday, chairman of the committee M Shahiduzzaman Sarker placed the committee report with some changes in the original Bill.
Fakhrul alleged that the bill was passed by the parliament very hastily, and warned that it will not help prevent the fall of the current regime.
Recalling that Baksal was formed just in11 minutes in parliament, he said the Bill on the Election Commission (EC) was also passed hurriedly after it had been tabled on January 23 and approved by the cabinet on January 17.
“Awami League introduced Baksal that day as part of their efforts to save themselves. They’ve now enacted the Election Commission law thinking that they will survive through it. But they have forgotten that Baksal couldn’t finally protect them. So, the law on the Election Commission can’t protect them ultimately,” the BNP leader said.
About their party’s position on the next polls, Fakhrul said their party will not join any national election under Sheikh Hasina’s government as they do not want to be caught in the toils of Baksal again.
He said the government must quit and hand over power to a non-party neutral administration which will arrange a credible election by forming the Election Commission in consultations with all political parties. “People’s representatives will be elected through the polls and they will determine how they’ll run the country.”