।। Newsroom Report।।
Commissioner Mahbub Talukder has opposed the amendment of the Representation of the People Order and the enactment of the Local Government Council Election Management Act. He issued a note of dissent opposing the two laws at a meeting of the commission on Monday (August 24th). According to him, the information was revealed in a meeting of the commission held at Agargaon Election Building under the chairmanship of Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda.
In a written note of dissent, Mahbub Talukder said, “I am surprised to note that the Election Commission Secretariat has already repealed the Representation of the People Order, 1972 and sent the draft of the Representation of the People Act 2020 Bill to the Law Ministry.” According to the law ministry, the draft has been sent to the ministry with the exception of 11 basic and procedural provisions. The most alarming issue is the abolition of the direct power to cancel a candidate’s candidature under Section 91 of the RPO or the Representation of the People Order, 1972, which was vested in the Election Commission. This clause was included in the RPO with the consent of all political parties.
He added that the decision was changed in the face of criticism even though the previous commission had taken similar initiative, adding that the Rakibuddin Commission was extremely critical of the initiative to cancel it and later withdrew from the initiative. I think it is a suicidal decision of the Election Commission to move away from the sole power of direct cancellation of candidature. In this, the Election Commission will become a cat, not a toothless toothless tiger. I protest this decision. In my opinion, the power to cancel a candidature must be with the Election Commission alone.
He said that in 1972, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman formulated and issued the ‘Representation of the People Order, 1972’ with the powers given to him in the third paragraph of the fourth schedule of the constitution. It is a historical legal document, a unique reminder of Bangladesh’s independence. I do not understand why or for what reason this change is necessary.
In this context, the commissioner said, “I do not agree with the proposal made by the Election Commission to reform the election law of local government bodies.” There can be no different law just to conduct elections, it has to be universal.
It is not the duty of the Election Commission to change the structure, tenure, etc. of the local government institutions. In particular, it is not the prerogative of the Election Commission to change various posts and titles of local government. These reforms are a matter for local government. In the situation described, I am giving a ‘Note of Dissent’ disagreeing on the three issues mentioned.
Incidentally, Mahbub Talukder has given notes of dissent on various issues more than once in the last three years. He also gave a note of dissent regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in the Eleventh Parliamentary Election.