Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told parliament on Wednesday to enact a law as a permanent measure to reconstitute the next Election Commission (EC).
“From now on, a move can be taken in line with the constitution to appoint the chief election commissioner (CEC) and other commissioners to the next EC,” she said while responding to a question from opposition lawmaker Noor-e-Hasna Lily Chowdhury.
The question-answer session was tabled in the House with Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury in the chair.
The Jatiya Party lawmaker asked the premier about her role in forming a neutral EC for holding the 11th parliamentary election.
The prime minister said e-voting could also be introduced to ensure the voting rights of the people.
She came up with the statement shortly after the newly-formed Election Commission headed by KM Nurul Huda assumed office.
Congratulating the EC, she said, “I believe the newly-constituted EC will be able to gain the confidence in the people by discharging responsibilities neutrally as per the Constitution.”
She also promised to provide all sorts of assistance to the EC in holding the next parliament elections in a free, fair and credible manner.
“We are also proud as a woman has been appointed election commissioner for the first time,” she said.
Mentioning the constitutional provision, the prime minister said the President appoints the CEC and other commissioners under Article 118.
“A specific guideline has been mentioned in the constitution for appointing the CEC and other commissioners. The President in light with the Article completes the appointment,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina further said late President Zillur Rahman introduced a provision of a search committee for appointing the EC.
“This time, the President also formed the search committee comprising individuals from constitutional posts and noted citizens. The President also consulted with registered political parties before forming a search committee.The committee then took opinions from the eminent citizens,” she said.
“Following the opinions of the search committee, the President has formed the Election Commission. We have full confidence in the President’s long political wisdom and consideration,” she added.
The premier said such a situation of forming a neutral EC is not developed overnight.
“It has a long history as the people had to sacrifice blood for ensuring their voting rights and returning to the democratic practice. We had to launch movement on roads for long,” she said.
The tradition of appointing the election commissioners through search committee makes our democratic system strengthened. Awami League has been committed to ensuring the voting rights of the people, she also said.
Replying to another question, Sheikh Hasina came down heavily on BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia for dreaming of assuming office with the help of foreign powers.
She said they (BNP) burnt several hundred people to death in the name of movement to unseat her government.
“Being rejected by the people, they have now been dreaming of coming to power with the support of foreign powers. Being an independent nation, it is no way acceptable.”