EC to hold talks with civil society members
‘Talks with parties only if it required'Staff Correspondent
The Election Commission is likely to sit with members of the civil society on September 13 to seek their opinions, primarily on delimitation of parliamentary constituencies, said election commission officials.
After the talks with members of the civil society, the commission would sit with senior journalists. It, however, is not planning to sit with the political parties.
‘We have tentatively fixed September 13 as the date for holding talks with members of the civil society,’ election commission secretary Muhammed Sadique told New Age on Friday.
He said that the EC would start sending the letters to about 200 civil society leaders and journalists in a day or two, inviting them to the meeting to be held at the auditorium of National Economic Council at Agargaon in the city.
The EC prepared a list of about 200 civil society leaders and journalists for the purpose, EC officials said.
When contacted, election commissioner Shah Nawaz said members of the civil society will include former caretaker government advisers, bureaucrats, educationists, rights activists and leaders of different professional bodies.
‘The topic of the meeting will primary be limited to the issue of delimitation of parliamentary constituencies,’ he said.
The commissioner, however, said that other issues could also come up for discussion.
He said the commission was drafting a constituency delimitation rule which would be placed before the civil society members for having their opinions on the matter.
‘The commission also has prepared a draft on which district would get how many constituencies on what basis,’ he added.
Meanwhile, the EC changed its decision to hold talks with the political parties for discussing issues related to the next parliamentary elections.
Asked when the EC would sit with the political parties, Shah Nawaz said, ‘We would sit with the political parties only if it necessitates.’
The chief election commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad had earlier said that the EC would discuss the issues with political parties and described them as the ‘main stakeholders’ for the general elections.
Asked how the EC would resolve disputes over redrawing the constituencies since it received over 50 applications from political workers seeking fresh delimitation of their constituencies, Shah Nawaz said the EC might sit with the applicants to resolve the disputes.
One of the election commissioners, Zabed Ali, last week, however, had told New Age that the commission was not in a hurry to hold talks with the political parties, rather it would arrange the discussions only after the new political parties, which applied, get their registration.
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