Bangabandhu made RPO in ’72 to establish people’s democratic rights

DHAKA, Aug 30, 2018 (BSS) – Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman made the Representation of the People Order (RPO) in 1972 to establish the democratic rights of the country’s people.

“RPO is the foundation of all electoral laws. It is accelerating the democratic pace of our independent Bangladesh,” referring to Bangabandhu’s role in developing the country’s electoral system, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq told BSS.

“Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman believed in democracy. He struggled throughout his life to establish democracy in the country and democratic rights of the country’s people. He sacrificed a lot in his life for in this,” he said.

When Bangabandhu was in the state power, he not only enacted the RPO, but also presented the nation with a constitution addressing the issues of democracy, elections and elected representatives, the law minister said, adding that Bangabandhu believed in electing people’s representatives through elections.

A total of 10 parliamentary elections were held under the RPO promulgated in 1972. The President of the country promulgated the order on December 26 in 1972 as the parliament was not effective after the birth of independent Bangladesh. It was the President Order no. 155 in the year.

The order, however, was passed by the parliament formed through a national election in 1973. Later, the Election Commission (EC) led by the then Chief Election Commissioner Dr ATM Shamsul Huda amended the RPO in 2008.

The RPO was enacted as per the directives of Bangabandhu, Anisul said, adding that electoral laws explain the electoral code of conduct aiming at ensuring peaceful elections.

There is a provision in the country’s constitution formulated in 1972 regarding formation of Election Commission. President of the country appoints the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners as per article 118 of the constitution.

According to the constitution, the EC is an independent body. As per Article 119 of the constitution, the EC is responsible for preparing voter lists and conducting elections.