EC Not Empowered to Ban Religion-Based Party
Sunday, 01 August 2010

The election commission has nothing to do with cancellation of any political party, commissioner Sohul Hossain has told bdnews24.com.

He made the remarks on Saturday following a comment from the law minister, who said that the EC will decide whether to ban a religion-based political party.

Sohul said that if any registered party is banned by the government, its registration will be annulled in line with the Representation of the People Order.

But the government has to declare the specific party banned.

The law minister said that no religion-based political party will be able to continue if the four principles – nationalism, secularism, socialism and democracy – of the 1972 constitution are revived.

"The Election Commission has the jurisdiction to register or cancel registration of any party. And if any party is banned, the EC will annul its registration in line with the Representation of the People Order". Sohul said, adding, "The decision should not be taken in haste. The EC will also talk to lawyers, if needed."

Citing the special committee on constitution review, the commissioner said the government will decide on it after the committee finishes its work.

"But the EC cannot intervene in the activities of a political party."

Sub section (B) of Section 90 (H) of the RPO states that registration of the parties banned by the government will be annulled.

But after 90 days of the publication of a gazette about the cancellation of registration, the party can appeal to the higher court, according to the Section 90 (I).

The EC has at least 12 religion-based political parties registered with it.

Source: bdnews24.com

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