Khadimul Islam, NewAge, July 2, 2008. Dhaka, Bangladesh
The Election Commission missed its deadline of at least three tasks, as laid out in the electoral roadmap, with June passing by and is now extending time to complete the tasks. The tasks scheduled to be completed by June 30 are delimitation of the parliamentary constituencies, completion of field-level tasks of voters’ registration and the registration of political parties.
Election commissioner M Sakhawat Hussain, when his attention was called to the deadline, Tuesday evening told New Age, ‘I have said it earlier that we have failed to meet the deadline of party registration and the issue of delimitation in now in final stages.’ The commission missed its June deadline for the registration of political parties for delay in finalising reforms of the electoral law and is now extending the time up to the announcement of the election schedule, which is likely in October.
In keeping with the electoral roadmap, all electoral reforms, including finalisation of the conditions for registration of political parties, were to be completed by February 27. The commission also set a June 30 deadline for the registration of the parties, which were given three months, April–June, to get registered. But till date there is no sign of finalising the electoral reforms, setting the conditions for registration.
Election commissioner Muhammed Sohul Hussain in June hoped the draft of the laws on mandatory registration of political parties with the commission to contest polls would be promulgated in July. ‘They [political parties] will be given three months, if required four months, and even up to the time before the announcement of the election schedule to get registered with the commission,’ M Sakhawat Hussain told reporters in his office in June.
He said political parties would be given adequate time and scope for discussions and meetings to change their constitutions in compliance with the party registration laws. In keeping with the electoral roadmap, the commission was supposed to complete the delimitation of parliamentary constituencies through gazette notification by end of June. But the commission on Monday wrapped up the countrywide hearing in disputes over delimitation by taking up objections to the demarcation of 95 constituencies.
M Sakhawat Hossain on Sunday said they would not take more than seven days after the ongoing hearing in objections to the commission’s delimitation plan. According to the roadmap, field-level task of voters’ registration was to be completed by June 30, but it missed the deadline and set July 9 for its completion. According to a progress report, till June 28, a total of 8,03,81,882 crore voters were registered.