Election Commission an independent constitutional body entrusted with the responsibility of holding national and local government elections. It announces schedules of elections, delimits constituencies, prepares electoral rolls, supervises elections, announces election results and establishes election tribunals to settle election disputes. Part VII of the constitution of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh defines the composition, powers and functions of the Election Commission.
Article 118 of the Bangladesh Constitution provides for the establishment of an Election Commission for Bangladesh consisting of a Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time direct, and the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (if any) shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in that behalf, be made by the President. When the Election Commission consists of more than one person, the Chief Election Commissioner is to act as its chairman. Under the Constitution, the term of office of any Election Commissioner is five years from the date on which he enters upon office. A person who has held office as Chief Election Commissioner is not eligible for appointment in the service of the Republic. Any other Election Commissioner is, on ceasing to hold such office, eligible for appointment as Chief Election Commissioner, but is not eligible for appointment in the service of the Republic. At present, Bangladesh Election Commission consists of three members including the Chief Election Commissioner.
Article 118(4) and 126 of the Constitution, read with Article 4 of the Representation of the People Order, 1972 approves Powers and Functions of Election Commission. Under this Article of the Constitution, the Election Commission is an independent constitutional body in the exercise of its functions and subject only to the Constitution and any other law. The Commission may authorize its chairman or any of its members or any of its officers to exercise and perform all or any of its powers and functions under the law. Article 126 of the Constitution and Articles 4 and 5 of the Representation of the People Order, 1972 provide that it shall be the duty of all executive authorities to assist the Election Commission in the discharge of its functions. The Commission has the power to require any person or authority to perform such functions or render such assistance for the purpose of electron as it may direct.
The Election Commission is constitutionally oath-bound to ensure free and fair elections to the office of President of the Republic, and to Jatiya Sangsad and local government bodies.
The Election Commission maintains close relations with all political parties. On matters of election schedule, election process and overall arrangements for elections, dialogue is initiated with all political parties. Discussion on issues relating to voter registration, preparation and updating of electoral rolls and relevant matters is also held with contesting political parties. [Mohammad Ehsan]