Dhaka, Dec 17 (UNB) – Chairman of Bikolpa Dhara Bangladesh-led Juktafront on Monday said a ‘good’ election is possible if the Election Commission (EC) discharges its constitutional duties independently.
“As per the Constitution, the Election Commission is now independent and the owner of all authorities. The Commission is under the President, not under the government. So, it’s the responsibility of the Commission to hold an inclusive election,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, B Chowdhury, further said, “The government now has no power to transfer or suspend any government officials. The EC has such power. Holding a good election is still possible if he EC works independently.”
Juktafront arranged the programme at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) marking the ‘Victory Day’.
B Chowdhury, also a former president, said democracy must be ensured at all levels and development without democracy cannot be accepted.
“We belong to the party which believes in democracy, and development should go together. Juktafront pursue the politics of peace and happiness,” he observed.
The Juktafront chief also said corruption and terrorism must be uprooted to build a truly happy, peaceful and prosperous Bangladesh.
“Corruption hampers development. Our GDP growth can be increased to 10 percent if corruption can be reduced,” he added.
Dhaka, Dec 17 (UNB) – Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder on Monday said he does not think there is any level-playing for the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
“I don’t think there’s anything like level-playing field. The term ‘level-playing field’ has turned into a meaningless world,” he said while replying to queries from reporters in written.
As four reporters asked the election commissioners some questions in the morning, he told them to write down their questions.
He gave answers to the questions in written.
Drawing his attention to Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda’s comments that there is a level-playing ground for the election, a reporter asked Mahbub Talukder whether he was opposing the CEC.
In reply, he said, “I never oppose his remarks. He expresses his opinions. I express dissent opinion if necessary. You’re journalists, you’re aware of the country. Ask your conscience whether there’s any level-playing field for the election. You’ll find the answer.”
Asked whether it is possible to hold a free and fair election amid allegations of obstructing opposition candidates from conducting electioneering across the country, the election commissioner said, “I’m an optimistic man. The promise to hold a free and fair election will have to materialised in the time left before us. Executive magistrates, judicial magistrates and electoral enquiry committee judges should play a more effective role in this regard.
He also thinks that the situation will take a positive turn once the army is deployed.
About CEC’s remarks that the election will be participatory and fair with the participation of all parties, Mahbub Talukder said participatory election has no relation with a credible one. “A participatory election is a primary achievement. But the main thing is that whether the election is fair and credible. A participatory election will be of no use unless it’s acceptable and credible.”
Asked whether the public administration and law enforcement agencies remain under the control of the Election Commission, he said they do not hold the election directly. “It’s held through returning officers, officials concerned and law enforcement agencies. Top officials of the law enforcement agencies are under the Election Commission. They can say how much members of their forces are under their control.”
In reply to another query whether he has any message in the present situation, the election commissioner expressed the hope that no one –- candidates, voters and even law enforcers – will violate the law. “Let the law take its own course. Abide the electoral code of conduct. Assist us to make the election a success.”
Dhaka, Dec 17 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday wanted to know who will lead the government if Jatiya Oikyafront forms it winning the upcoming parliamentary elections.
“I want to ask a question here. Who’ll be their head of the government? Is it she [Khaleda Zia] who embezzled the money of orphans, or the convict [Tarique Rahman] who killed Ivy Rahman in the August 21 grenade attack or any other person from Razakar force whom we awarded sentence for war crimes? They’re yet to make it clear,” she said addressing a discussion in the city.
Bangladesh Awami League arranged the discussion at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on the occasion of the Victory Day. AL President Sheikh Hasina chaired the discussion.Coming down heavy on Dr Kamal Hossain and other Oikyafront leaders, Sheikh Hasina said those who have got deviated from ethics and ideology can give nothing to the nation. “I feel pity for them because they’ve deviated! Now they don’t have any values ethics.”
He also questioned the identity of those got united under the banner of Oikyafront. “Who’re those who got united today?”
The AL President said ‘renowned persons’ who want to mislead people with their theoretical words are now associates of the anti-liberation forces and war criminals. “They’ve now joined hands with corrupt elements, killers and arms smugglers. But why did they do it? It’s my question,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina questioned how war criminals who do not want this Bangladesh got BNP’s nomination and candidacy.
Describing her government’s successes in different sectors, she said the AL government had been able to establish at least the dignity of Bangladeshis in the global arena.
Bangladesh is marching forward with the spirit through which the country’s independence was earned. “Bangladesh will continue to move forward. No one can take Bangladesh backward anymore,” Hasina added.
Turning to the next general election billed for December 30, she said she has confidence and trust in the people of Bangladesh as they never commit any mistake. “No one can snatch their voting rights and constitutional rights,” she added.
The ‘Boat’ is the symbol of people as they had achieved the country’s independence and right to the mother tongue for this symbol, the Prime Minister said. “Since people gave their mandate in favour of the symbol, Bangladesh is now marching forward. It has graduated to a developing country from a least developed one, conquered the space launching Bangabandhu-1 satellite into the orbit and settled the land boundary disputes with India.”
She said her government has brought down the poverty rate to 21 percent and it will be possible to reduce the rate by 5-6 percent further if Awami League is re-elected for another five-year term in the upcoming national election.
The Prime Minister said the anti-liberation forces, killers, Al-Badr and Al-Shams, killers of intellectuals, grenade attackers, corrupt persons, arms smugglers and convicts never allow the country to move forward.
Seeking votes for the ‘Boat, Hasina said she wants to serve the country for building it as a developed, prosperous one as dreamt by Father of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Awami League leaders, including its general secretary Obaidul Quader, Tofail Ahmed, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman, and noted writer and historian Prof Muntasir Mamoon, spoke on the occasion.
Dhaka, Dec 17 (UNB) – The High Court on Monday summoned the managing director and secretary of ‘Freedom Fighters’ Welfare Trust’ for contempt.
The bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal issued the order as the defendants – Md Iftekharul Islam and Sayeed Mahmood Belal Haider – did not respond to a previous rule.
Iftekharul and Haider will have to appear before the HC on January 10.
The trustee of the Freedom Fighters’ Welfare Trust suspended engineer Yasir Arafat at its 41st meeting. The engineer moved the High Court, which stayed his suspension order and issued a rule on July 31 this year.
But the Trust did not pay Yasir his salary. This prompted the HC to issue a contempt of court rule against the Trust’s concerned authorities on November 25, but the defendants did not respond, leading to Monday’s summon.
Barrister Md Abdul Halim represented the petitioner in court.
Dhaka, Dec 17 (UNB) – The High Court on Monday adjourned for Tuesday the hearing on a writ petition filed challenging the cancellation of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s candidature in three constituencies to contest the upcoming general election.
The one-member bench of Justice JBM Hassan passed the order following a petition by Khaleda’s counsels seeking time.
Barrister Badudozza Badal and Barrister AKM Ehsanur Rahman stood for the BNP chief while deputy attorney general Motahar Hossain Saju represented the state.
Khaleda’s counsels sought time, saying they could not yet prepare the affidavit of the petition filed expressing ‘no-confidence’ in the single-judge bench.
As Khaleda’s lawyers filed the ‘no-confidence’ petition to the new bench formed by the Chief Justice, it asked them to submit it in written.
On December 12, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain formed the one-member bench to hear the petition over BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s candidature in all the three constituencies as the bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir issued a split order on December 11.
Senior Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed stayed the EC’s decision and accepted Khaleda’s appeal while Justice Md Iqbal Kabir upheld the decision.
Later, the appeal was sent to the Chief Justice as per rules to form a new bench.
Barrister Kaisar Kamal filed the appeal for Feni-1 while Barrister Nowshad Jamir for Bogura-6 and Advocate Masud Ahmed Talukder for Bogura-7.
Khaleda’s nominations for Feni-1, Bogura-6 and 7 constituencies were rejected by returning officers. The Election Commission also upheld the decisions of the returning officers, prompting the former prime minister to move the High Court.
Khaleda was jailed for five years on February 8 last in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. Her jail term was doubled by the High Court on October 30.
A day before that, she was sentenced to seven-year imprisonment by a special court in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.