Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda said that Election Commission (EC) can do nothing to create a level-playing field before the announcement of the schedule for the next parliamentary elections.
“It is not under the jurisdiction of EC to create a level-playing field before announcement of polls’ schedule,” the CEC said while unveiling a roadmap for the next national elections.
He came up with the remark three days after law enforcers allegedly disrupted a meeting at Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rob) ASM Abdur Rob’s Uttara residence where several political party leaders met on Thursday night.
While speaking with reporters at the briefing at the EC office in the capital’s Agargaon area, the CEC further said, “We hope that the election can be held in a free and fair manner under the present government.”
According to the roadmap, on July 31 dialogues with civil society members will be held, he said. The EC will sit with journalists in August and with 40 registered political parties from August to September, he added.
The CEC said they will now focus on seven specific issues until the schedule for the next elections is announced.
The tenth parliament convened on Jan 29, 2014, so the eleventh national election has to be held between Oct 30, 2018 and Jan 27, 2019.
“We will take steps to ensure a congenial atmosphere for the polls after the schedules are announced. We do not have any request to the government now,” he said.
CEC said that the Elections Commission’s jurisdiction to ensure a proper political environment starts after the schedule is announced and ends 90 days later.
The EC will also have meetings with the election observer organisations, female leaders and election conducting experts in October.