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Registration of Political Parties : An International Comparison


Registration system of political parties has been commenced in Bangladesh from 2008 by the last army backed caretaker government inserting section 90B in the Representation of People’s Order (RPO), 1972 and imposing some conditions for registration of political parties. Subsequently the Awami League Government amended the said section in 2013 making the conditions more difficult for the new political parties for getting registration. Now registration of political party is a must for taking part in any election, national or local but the political parties get the opportunity to apply for registration only before national election after about 5 (five) years.

To get registration a Bangladeshi political party must comply the condition of forming 123 committees with offices, i.e. 1 central committee, 22 district committees and 100 thana committees and 200 members in each thana where committee to be formed with a target of having 33% women in every committee. Not only that such political party must be confirmed not to go out of the willing of the government. If the government thinks that the particular party is not its obedient, that party would not be allowed for registration despite fulfillment of all the conditions.

Mr. Emanuel Macro, President of France won the national election one year after formation his party and he had not to fulfill any such condition to carry on his political career. The people of France have supported his new vision for change of political views, culture and thinking. Similarly in our neighbouring country India Mr. Arbinda Kezriwal was elected from his political party one and half year after formation of the party. Moreover in India and many other democratic countries numerous political parties contest the national and local election without any hindrance in the name of registration by so much hard conditions. In India, Britain, America and many other democratic countries a political party can run freely if it has a committee, a constitution and an office in central level and such centre does not mean the capital of the country. Any nation-wide political party can be run from a remote area. But in Bangladesh our democratic right of politics what has been protected by our constitution has been infringed in the recent years in the name of registration imposing so difficult conditions which are not at all compliable for any party.

In India political party is registered as per provision of Representation of People Act 1951 (Section 29A, Part IV A) where local unit is optional. They only see the central committee, its office and party constitution. Nothing more is required for registration of a political party there. Registration of political party is easier in United Kingdom. As per the provision of Registration of Political Party Act 1998 an office is not mandatory there. In the United States of America 100 people may form a political party as per provision of The Political Parties (Registration and Regulation) Act.

The aforesaid provision for registration of political parties in Bangladesh was imposed by the then non-political government in 2008. A political party can not be governed by the prescription of non-political personalities who has no experience to political reality. The aforesaid provision as to fulfillment of all conditions for registration of a political party is out and out an absurd conception. It is impossible not only in Bangladesh but also all over the world. Nowhere in the world such kind of absurd provision remains. No political party can comply such provisions to be registered.

Now a day’s politics is a hateful thing to the common people not only in Bangladesh but also all over the world. Mr. Barack Obama, the immediate past President of United States of America (USA) has written in the prologue of his book namely, ‘The Audacity of Hope’ that the American people asked him when he started walking through a political way, “You seem like a nice enough guy. Why do you want to go into something dirty and nasty like politics?” Apparently good people do not want to be involved with politics as politics went to the hands of bad people in maximum context.

The then non-political caretaker government was backed by army and the army backed government always tried to make politics difficult for the politicians not only in Bangladesh but also all over the world. Such kind of government goes against the democracy and public sentiment. The said government made Bangladesh a massacre state and basing upon their theory the democracy can not be carried on. The said provisions are hindrance to the new generation who has dream to build up their political career forming new political party with fresh mind and fresh hand.

There are almost 40 registered political parties in Bangladesh most of those were registered in 2008. All the parties are failing to continue of maintaining all the conditions but the concerned authorities are wordless about the said failure. Most of the registered parties have not offices and committees in 22 district and 100 upazilas with 200 members. Even most of the registered parties participate in the national and local election using emblems of other political parties. But those are enjoying registration facilities without any objection. There are some unregistered political parties in much better position than those but getting no scope to apply for registration because of the aforesaid difficult conditions of having offices and committees in 22 district and 100 upazilas with 200 members.

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