The ruling Awami League on Wednesday requested the Election Commission to extend the time limit by five more years for ensuring 33 per cent female participation in every committee of political parties.
As part of its opinion over the EC’s draft Political Party Registration Bill 2020, the AL said that it was against the commission’s proposal of lifting the time limit as the existing provision made 33 per cent female participation mandatory in all committees of the parties by 2020.
A delegation of the party led by AL publicity and publications secretary Abdus Sobhan submitted the proposal to the commission along with its annual transaction reports.
EC secretary M Alamgir told reporters that the AL gave its opinion against the scrap of the provision.
On July 7, the commission extended time until July 31 for political parties to give opinion on a draft bill on registration of political parties which has already drawn criticism from different quarters.
On June 16, the commission finalised a draft bill for political party registration striking out the provision for 33 per cent mandatory women’s participation in all committees of the political parties.
The commission has taken the move for enacting a separate law in this regard while currently the provision is included in the Representation of the People Order 1972.
Section 90 (B) in the RPO provides for ensuring mandatory 33 per cent women in all committees of the political parties by 2020.
The commission proposed the name of the draft law as the Registration of Political Parties Act 2020.
In the last council of the Awami League, it amended the party constitution extending its time limit for filling at least 33 per cent of all committee positions with women from 2020 to 2021.
According to EC officials, 38 of the 41 political parties registered with the commission are yet to fill up 20 per cent of their committee positions with women though the law required them to do so by 2020.
On July 1, the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party urged the EC to halt the move of enacting the bill for political party registration and said that the move in the time of coronavirus crisis was suspicious.
Besides, the ruling party on Wednesday submitted its annual financial statement to the Election Commission for the 2019 calendar year which showed that the party’s income stands at Tk 50.37 crore with 35 per cent deposit increase than that of last year.
After submitting the report, Abdus Sobhan told journalists said that the party earned around Tk 21.43 crore and it spent around Tk 8.21 crore in 2019. The party has Tk 50.37 crore in deposit.
According to the report, AL earned Tk 12.32 crore form nomination form sales, Tk 3.55 crore from its council subscription fees and donations, Tk 2.33 crore form bank interest and Tk 1.76 crore form monthly fees of its members of parliament while earning also added from the fees of its central executive members and advisory council members.
In 2018, AL’s earning was Tk 24.23 crore while it spent Tk 18.87 crore and had a balance of Tk 37.57 crore.
According to the Political Parties Registration Rules 2008, a party has to get its total transactions on a calendar year audited by a chartered accounting firm and submit a copy of the firm’s report to the commission by July 31 of the subsequent year.
As per the article 90H (1) (c) of the Representation of the People Order, the registration of a political party may be cancelled if it fails to submit the audit report in time for three consecutive years.
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