BNP talks with president sets ball rolling

Update:

The president’s initiative regarding the formation of a new election commission is looking positive. BNP responded to the president’s call for talks in this regard and the reaction of both BNP and the president’s office after the talks gives a glimmer of hope.
Four more political parties have been invited for talks with the president regarding the formation of a new EC. Others are expected to be invited, too.
According to media reports, BNP handed over to the president a summary of the 13 points put forward by the party chairperson Khaleda Zia regarding possible members of a search committee for forming the new EC, as well as other matters pertaining to the process of forming the commission. On behalf of the president it was said that BNP’s proposal will help in forming the search committee and the EC.
The president has not called the ruling Awami League for talks as yet, but a member of the party’s presidium has said that they would also join in the talks if called.
We feel that finding an acceptable process to form the EC based on the proposals submitted to the president, depends on the ruling party. However, based on past ‘experience’, the ruling party’s general secretary expressed his apprehensions regarding the result of the talks between the BNP delegation and the president. We feel it is not conducive to the process for a party, especially its general secretary, to express such apprehensions at the very outset of the initiative. He should instead take note that in spite of being in government for eight years, the ruling party has failed to form a constitutional law regarding the formation of the EC. Had this law been in place, perhaps the call for national consensus wouldn’t even have arisen.
In a democracy, negotiations are the way to resolve any problems which may crop up in governance and politics. The election commission is an institution in which all political parties must have confidence. It is best for all to be involved in the process. We hail BNP’s talks with the president as a positive start to the initiative.
It is the will of the government that will determine the outcome of the president’s initiative. However late it may be, the EC issue has created an environment of debate and discussion. We look forward to this spilling over into the arena of national politics.

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