The Election Commission will meet on Thursday to decide on the actions against the Jamaat-e-Islami as certain clauses in the party’s charter are in conflict with the Constitution and the Representation of the People Order, an Election Commissioner has said.
Talking to reporters on Wednesday, Jabed Ali said they “agree with the youths of Shahbagh” and expressed solidarity with the ‘Ganajagaran Manch’ by standing in silence for three minutes on Tuesday at the Election Commission.
He said they were “aware” of the demands raised by the protesters and efforts were underway to do what was necessary.
The former army officer said Jamaat-e-Islami had retained some conflicting clauses in its party’s constitution despite asking for several extensions from the Election Commission to review them.
“Jamaat was given a lot of time; but that too has a limit. The legal branch has been given the task to identify the clauses in Jamaat’s constitution that conflicts with the existing laws. A decision will be reached after extensive discussions during Thursday’s meeting,” the Commissioner said.
The constitution of Jamaat-e-Islami runs contrary to clauses 7, 8 and 66 of the ‘Representation of the People Order’ (RPO). The EC has so far sent four letters regarding this to the party. But Ali maintained that Jamaat never provided a “suitable reply”.
On repealing Jamaat-e-Islami’s registration as demanded by the protesters, the Election Commissioner said, “We have to work within the law. The 90 H (jurisdiction to cancel registration) is in the Commission’s hand.”
“We are aware of this and efforts are already underway. The Commission will review and take a decision.”
He quoted the Quran saying “the holy book directs people to follow the laws of the land. But Jamaat’s constitution is in defiance of the existing judiciary and laws of the country”.
For long, several political parties have been demanding the abrogation of Jamaat’s registration. This has been made stronger by the first verdict of the ICT, which on Jan 21 awarded death sentence to Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu Razakar. In its verdict the ICT observed that Jamaat-e-Islami had an active role in war crimes during 1971.
Following that observation EC Mohammad Shahnawaz had said the commission will take action if they received an order from the court.
The platform of protesters at Shahbagh, now named the ‘Ganajagaran Mancha’, is also demanding that Jamaat be banned. Reacting to the call, a government minister said on Tuesday that a bill will be placed in Parliament for banning Jamaat.
There are 38 registered parties in the country after registration was made mandatory for those willing to run in the parliamentary elections. Jamaat which was registered in 2008 would not be able to compete in the coming elections if it was stripped of its registration.