According to EC regulations, a political party seeking registration with the Commission needs to submit certain information regarding itself in order to qualify for registration
Leaders and activists of several parties who applied for Election Commission (EC) registration, expressed their deep concern and anger when the scrutiny committee of EC scrapped their applications.
Election Commission sources told the Dhaka Tribune that the scrutiny committee had recommended the EC to allow the registration of Bangladesh Gano Azadi League and Bangladesh Congress, while applications of 45 other parties including Nagorik Oikya, Gono Songhoti Andolon, and Nationalist Democratic Movement were scrapped.
Mahmudur Rahman Manna, convener of Nagorik Oikya, said if EC has taken the decision to not allow their registration, it is grossly unfair.
He said: “So far, people and political parties are not happy as the EC is working as directed by a certain party. They are trying to only allow the registration of parties allied with the ruling party in accordance with directions given to them.”
He also said that they have fulfilled all the conditions to get the registration, and if they are not allowed to register, they will take the matter to court in order to obtain democratic rights to participate in the next election.
Stating that the decision of the checking committee is not final, Gono Songhoti Andolon convener Zonayed Saki told the Dhaka Tribune that they have completed all the required procedures of registration.
“If the EC works as directed by one political party and only permits the registration of those associated with that party, it will be a very bad example for democracy,” he said, adding that his party too will take to court to get the registration if the EC denies them.
Dhaka Tribune failed to contact with Bobby Hajjaj, chairman of another newly formed party Nationalist Democratic Movement (NDM), despite repeated attempts.
Several leaders of parties who applied for registration also expressed anger with the EC. Although all the procedures for registration were completed, the EC, to suit their own ulterior motives, is denying their efforts.
Election Commission officials said they have applications from a total of 76 new political parties, and that 56 of them were primarily selected after scrutiny. From the verified list, applications of nine parties were dropped as they were found incomplete.
Currently, the EC is verifying the documents of 47 parties, they added.
According to EC regulations, a political party seeking registration with the Commission needs to submit its constitution, electoral manifesto, rules, logo, and a photograph of its flag, the list of central executive committee members with their posts, information about their bank accounts, and income sources.
The Commission is then likely to shortlist five to six parties of the 47, and nominate two to three parties for final selection.
Conditions to obtain EC registration
According to the Representation of the People Order, a party is considered to be eligible for EC registration if it:
1. Secured at least one seat with its electoral symbol in any parliamentary election held since the independence of Bangladesh
2. Secured 5% of total votes cast in the constituencies in which its candidates took part in any of the parliamentary elections
3. Established a functional central office, by whatever name it may be called with a central committee, district offices at least in one-third administrative districts, offices at least one hundred upazilas or metropolitan thana, having a minimum number of 200 voters as its members in each of them