Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed says legal measures are afoot against the Jamaat-e-Islami after a review of its organisational charter.
“We will review their constitution and find out
violations, if any. Our action has to be legal,” Ahmed said during a press
briefing at the Election Commission Thursday. “The whole country is eagerly
watching the situation.”
But, he said, cancelling the registration of the
Islamist party would be a ‘lengthy process’ unless the government chose to ban
“If the government bans the Jamaat, the Election
Commission can easily go ahead and cancel its registration,” the Chief Election
“But to cancel the registration staying within the law
of the land will involve a very long procedure,” he warned.
leftist political parties had enforced countrywide shutdown in last December
demanding a ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami, and the move saw mass public
In its first verdict, the second war crimes tribunal of
Bangladesh had observed that the Jamaat-e-Islami had substantially contributed
to the formation of auxiliary forces during the 1971 Liberation War to help the
In its second verdict, the tribunal elaborated further on
the Islamist party’s complicity in mobilising auxiliary forces during the
Awami League Presidium member Abdul Latif Siddiqui has
already indicated that the current government is planning to place a bill in the
parliament seeking a ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami in deference to the spirit of
the Shahbagh protests.
When asked about the Jamaat’s role in opposing the
country’s independence in 1971, the Chief Election Commissioner said he would
work within the limits of law. “If I get an order from the court, I will have to
implement it. Everyone has to obey the orders of the court.”
He said the
legal cell of the Election Commission was reviewing the amended charter of the
Jamaat-e-Islami. “A legal review process takes time.”
The CEC’s comments
came a year after assuming office.
According to the existing law, a party
must be registered if it wants to contest the national polls.
The EC has
asked the Islamist party to amend its charter as several of its clauses were
conflicting with the Representation of People’s Order (RPO). The Jamaat has
allegedly stuck to several clauses objected to despite amending its charter on