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UPDATED: 17:27, January 22, 2007
Reconstitution of Bangladesh's Election Commission begins
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The reconstitution of Election Commission (EC), the prime demand of Bangladesh's former opposition Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance, has started with the resignation of chief election commissioner.

The Chief Election Commisioner (CEC) of Election Commission MA Aziz, appointed by the immediate past ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in May 2005, voluntarily resigned from his post on Sunday, saying he resigned to avert undesired political situation in the country.

He was forced to go on a leave of absence on Nov.22, 2006 after repeated demands for his resignation by the AL-led grand alliance for his failing to prepare a flawless and updated voter list.

Most of five deputies of Aziz are willing to resign voluntarily and they might follow Aziz within the next two or three days.

Law Advisor of caretaker government Mainul Husein on Saturday said the caretaker government decided to appoint a new CEC within a couple of days and he requested the CEC and his deputies to resign voluntarily.

The CEC and other commissioners of EC are constitutional posts. Nobody can sack them unless they resign voluntarily. Bangladeshi president can only request them to resign, but nobody usually disobey the president.

In a televised national address on Sunday night, Chief Advisor of the caretaker government Fakhruddin Ahmed said that it is unpleasant but true that the activities of past EC did not keep them above questions and doubts and the EC has landed in controversies.

"Therefore, reconstitution of the EC has become imperative," Ahmed said.

He said that a flawless voter list is also pre-requisite for holding a credible election.

Source: Xinhua

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