Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad on Monday said it is the legislature that will decide whether the current parliament will be dissolved or not ahead of the 10th parliamentary elections.
The Election Commission will hold the general election in line with the constitution, he told reporters at the EC secretariat in the afternoon.
Replying to a query whether the commission wants parliament to be dissolved, the CEC said, “It’s too early for us to comment… the dissolution of parliament depends on the legislators. But we’ll arrange the election following the constitution.”
Asked whether the commission has received any indication from the government regarding the status of parliament during the election, he replied in the negative and said, “The Commission doesn’t feel any pressure.”
Sought comments that two major political parties -- BNP and Jatiya Party -- have already shown their non-confidence in the incumbent Election Commission, the CEC said, “All those are their own views… we (Rakibuddin Commission) have held over 600 elections, including six city corporation polls and six by-elections. Local and international observers as well as the media watched the polls.”
In reply to a query whether Bangladesh Jamaat-e Islami now can be counted as registered party with the EC, Rakibuddin said, “The court order is still in force… we have to count the order.”
He further said that the decision on distribution of National Identity Card (NID) of the fresh voters, whose names were registered during the countrywide voter list updating exercise last year, will be taken within a couple of days.
The commission will discuss the distribution of NID through postal or election offices, but the door-to-door disbursement will be tough for the EC in the capital as many city dwellers do not stay home during daytime, he added.
About his deputy Abu Hafiz’s remark that it will be tough for the commission to arrange the general election keeping parliament in place, the CEC said it is his personal opinion. “Commissioners can express their personal views, but the commission’s decision is otherwise. The commission still examines the issues and it wants to hold a fair and free election.”
To create a level-playing field for all the candidates, the commission scrutinises the election code of conduct of other countries, he noted.