The election commission has begun registering new political parties interested in taking part in the next general elections.
In a notice issued on Thursday, new parties have 90 days, until Aug 29, to register with the electoral panel, reports bdnews24.com.
The Representation of the People Order (RPO) in Bangladesh requires political parties to register with the commission to contest elections.
Without registration, parties can take part in different political and social activities but are not allowed to take part in elections.
To register, a party has to deposit Tk 5,000 as a fee, and is required to meet at least one condition out of the following three with supporting documentation-
-A new party needs to have an active central office, a central committee, offices in at least one-third of the administrative districts, and a memorandum of endorsement from a minimum of 200 voters as its members in each Upazila/metropolitan area.
- Having at least one member of the party who had won in a previous general election took place after the independence of Bangladesh.
-Securing at least five per cent of total votes cast in the constituencies in which its candidates took part in any of the post-independence general elections.
At present, the number of registered parties with the EC stands at 39. It used to be 44, but registrations of five parties- Jamaat-e-Islami, Freedom Party, United Civil Movement, PDP and Jagpa- were cancelled later for failing to meet the conditions and court rulings.
Several political parties, including Gana Sanghati Andolan and Bangladesh Jasad, are awaiting registration at the moment.
The commission officials said it would take them several more months to review and verify the supporting documents of a new party.
The officials are hoping to finalise the registration process by Dec this year.
The newly formed commission, led by Kazi Habibul Awal, is contemplating scheduling the 12th parliamentary general elections between Nov 2023 and Jan 2024.