CPB Propose Fundamental Electoral Reforms
In the official dialogue between Communist party of Bangladesh (CPB) and the Election Commission concerning the proposed reforms of the Election Rules, the Political Parties Registration Act and the Election Code of Conduct put forward by the EC, CPB has responded positively to most of the proposals, suggested several concrete amendments, put forward several new suggestions and called for fundamental reform of the entire electoral system. A ten member delegation of CPB which included its President and General Secretary sat in dialogue with the representatives of The EC which included the Chief Election Commissioner and the two other Commissioners at the conference room of the EC on 25 February. CPB went over the EC proposals point by point and stated their opinion on them including their concrete written amendments where they considered necessary. A 64 page document with CPB’s comments and amendments was handed over to the EC.
The new proposals of CPB include,
1. Introduction of the ‘proportional representation system’ instead of the prevailing constituency based ‘first past the post’ system of representation.
2. Introduction of the ‘right to recall any elected representative by the majority of concerned electors.
3. Raising the number of reserved seats for women to 100, and introducing direct voting system for their election.
4. Introduction of special procedures for preparing voters list in the 3 hill districts in accordance with the provisions of the Hill Area Peace Accord of 1997.
5. Rejection of application for registration as a political party by Jamat-e-Islam and other anti-liberation and communal forces and the curtailment of right of participating as voters or candidates in election process by war criminals and communal forces.
CPB gave strong support to the EC proposals for regulating the election expenses of candidates, restrictions on retired govt. employees from contesting elections till 3 years after their date of retirement, the compultion for any candidate nominated by a political party to have been an active member of the party for at least 3 years, the introduction of the opportunity to cast a ‘No’ vote etc., and said that CPB will resist any attempt to go back on these proposals.
CPB proposed that the maximum expenses for a candidate for parliament should be reduced to 3 lac Taka, that the EC should develope a strong inspection mechanism to intervence suo-moto to prevent violations of the code of conduct and that adequate measures should be taken to make the EC financially and administratively independent.
CPB said that absolutely free and fair elections are an impossibility in a class devided society where extreme economic disparity is prevalent. The question of free fair elections is threfore only to be judged in a relative sense. But to have minimum acceptability, elections should be freed form the farce of being turned into dirty competition between millioniers of money and muscle power and a nasty and reactionary game of communal encitement and administrative manipulation.
Tags: CPB , Bangladesh , Electoral , Reforms
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