EC clears draft bill for new law being enacted with articles from RPO ‘72
One Commissioner opposes the move
Publish- August 26, 2020, 07:32 PM
UNB NEWS - UNB NEWS
The Election Commission on Wednesday cleared the draft of the Political Party Registration Bill, 2020 though a commissioner strongly opposed the move to enact a separate law with some articles from the Representation of the People Order (RPO) 1972.
The approval came at a meeting of the commission held at Nirbachan Bhaban in the city with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda in the chair.
“The Commission approved the draft bill on condition of making few necessary changes to it. After bringing the changes, the draft will be sent to the Law Ministry (for its vetting),” EC Senior Secretary Md Alamgir told reporters after the meeting.
Meanwhile, Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder issued a ‘note of dissent’ over the enactment of the new law terming the move a ‘reckless decision’.
“I fully oppose this decision. It’s a reckless decision to enact a separate law with part of the RPO,” he said in his note of dissent.
The Commissioner argued that the RPO 1972 is a historic legal document, which is a unique symbol of memory of the Independence of Bangladesh.
“If this proposal of the Election Commission is granted, the RPO will be disfigured, which will seem to be handicapped,” he said adding that the RPO can be amended, if necessary.
Mahbub Talukder said some political parties, including two major ones, also opposed the enactment of this law. It is being formulated with cuttings from different articles of Chapter-6 of the RPO.
About the draft law, the EC Secretary said the registration issue of political parties had not been in the RPO 1972 as it was incorporated in the RPO in 2008. Though there was a proposal as well to enact a separate law over the registration issue at that time, it was included in the RPO hurriedly due to time constraint, he said.
Alamgir said the present commission thinks there should be a separate law over the registration of the political parties bringing this part out of the RPO. Besides, the government has a plan to enact all the laws in Bangla, he mentioned.
Noting that the RPO is effective only for parliamentary elections, he said now local body polls alongside the national election are also held with the symbols of political parties. “So, the registration issue is also applicable in the local body election.”
The EC Secretary said if the registration-related provisions are kept in the RPO, it will require to formulate a separate law in this regard in the case of the local body elections.
“If the registration chapter is brought out from the RPO and a separate law is formulated, there’ll be no problem,” he said.