Dhaka, Dec 4 (UNB) – Jatiya Oikyafront chief Dr Kamal Hossain on Tuesday questioned the role of the Election Commission EC) in ensuring a credible national election.
“We’ve got the independence through an election. People still expect many things from the election. But Election Commission must demonstrate its neutrality for holding a free and fair election,” he said.
Talking to reporters after a meeting with National Democratic Institute (NDI) at a city hotel, Dr Kamal further said, “You’re observing the activities of the Election Commission and evaluate whether it’s working neutrally.”
He said though the Oikyafront had a demand for delaying the election for a month, the EC only deferred it by a week. “The Election Commission is not supposed to be loyal to the government and the government can’t ask the Commission not to defer the election.”
About the meeting with NDI, he said they talked about the overall election atmosphere.
Gano Forum’s Habiganj-1 seat candidate Dr Reza Kibria was also present at the meeting.
Talking to UNB, Reza said the NDI asked them about the election atmosphere and level-playing field and Dr Kaml briefed them about it.
Reza said he talked about the cancelation of his nomination papers by the returning officer.
A five-member NDI delegation, led by Jacqueline Corcoran, joined the meeting.
Dhaka, Dec 3 (UNB) – There is no Awami League candidate in 39 constituencies while BNP has no valid candidate in 10 parliamentary seats out of total 300 across the country after the scrutiny of nomination papers by the returning officers.
Of the constituencies, the ruling party did not field any candidate in 36 while BNP in five.
The 10 constituencies having no BNP contestant are Tangail-8, Moulvibazar-2, Cumilla-7, Laxmipur-4, Chattogram-14, Sunamganj-3, Manikganj-2, Jamalpur-4, Pabna-1 and Bogura-7.
The 39 constituencies having no AL candidate include Thakurgaon-3, Nilphamari-3 and 4, Lalmonirhat-3, Rangpur-1 and 3, Kurigram-2 and 4, Gaibandha-1, Bogura-2, 3, 4, 6 and 7, Rajshahi-2, Kushtia-2, Satkhira-1, Barishal-3 and 6, Pirojpur-2 and 3, Mymensingh-4 and 8, Kishoreganj-3, Munshiganj-1, Dhaka-4, 6 and 8, Narayanganj-3 and 5, Sunamganj-4, Sylhet-2, Moulvibazar-2, Brahmanbaria-2, Feni-1 and 3, Lakshmipur-2, Chattogram-2 and 5.
A total of 696 BNP runners submitted nomination papers in 295 constituencies and 281 AL aspirants in 264 constituencies within the deadline that expired on November 28.
During Sunday’s scrutiny, nomination papers of all BNP aspirants in five constituencies -- Sunamganj-3, Manikganj-2, Jamalpur-4, Pabna-1 and Bagura-7-- were cancelled while that of AL candidates in three constituencies -–Kurigram-4, Satkhira-1 and Narayanganj-3-- were rejected.
On Sunday, the returning officers cancelled total 786 nomination papers out of total 3,065 submitted by contestants in 300 constituencies to contest the 11th parliamentary elections slated for December 30.
Of the cancelled nomination papers, 141 were of BNP aspirants while three of AL contestants.
Now, the number of BNP’s valid candidates came down to 555 in 290 constituencies while that of AL to 278 in 261 constituencies, according to data compiled by the Election Commission.
The nomination papers of 38 HM Ershad-led Jatiya Party were cancelled. So, the number of Jatiya Party’s valid candidates stood at 195.
Dhaka, Dec 3 (UNB) – Jatiya Oikyafront has demanded that the Election Commission should issue directives to the Home Ministry to release all leaders and activists of different parties arrested in ‘political’ cases.
Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikyafront placed the demand in a letter sent to Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda.
The alliance’s media coordinator Latiful Bari Hamim submitted the letter signed by its Chief Coordinator Mostafa Mohsin Montu on Monday evening.
In the letter, Jatiya Oikyafront said no one can be arrested for political reasons after the announcement of valid candidates. “Especially no candidate should be harassed,” it said.
“The Election Commission can issue directives to the Home Ministry to release any political leader or activist in a political case,” the letter says.
“So, the Chief Election Commissioner is requested to issue directives for the release of all leaders and activists detained in political cases following the Constitution for the sake of holding the election in a fair and credible manner,” the letter reads.
A total of 2,279 nomination papers were declared valid while 786 others were announced invalid by the returning officers during Sunday’s scrutiny.
The 11th parliamentary elections will be held on December 30.
Dhaka, Dec 3 (UNB) – Newly appointed Jatiya Party secretary general Moshiur Rahman Ranga on Monday warned their party will take action if anyone of their leaders is found involved in ‘nomination trade’.
“We the party presidium members talked about the nomination-trade allegation last night (Sunday night) and decided that action will be taken as per the party charter if the allegation is found true,” he said.
The Jatiya Party secretary general also said a probe body will be formed by the party presidium member if those bought party nomination forms make any compliant in this regard.
Ranga came up with the comment while talking to reporters at Jatiya Party chairman’s Banani office after taking over the charge of its secretary general in the afternoon.
Asked about their party chairman’s health condition, he said he is fine but very weak as his hemoglobin level in blood has dropped.
The Jatiya Party leader indicted that Ershad may go aboard for treatment within a couple of days.
Ranga said he will work to turn their party into a strong democratic one by organising its rank and file at the grassroots. “Steps will be taken to organise the party’s grassroots. We’ll coopt more party activists to strength it further.”
He sought cooperation from party leaders and activists and journalists in making his new assignment successful.
The Jatiya Party secretary general said their party expects 52 seats from the Awami League-led grand alliance. “We’ll finalise it through discussions. We won’t have any misunderstanding with the grand alliance over the seat sharing and it will be finalised by December 9.”
He said their party did not get the expected success in the last national election as a vested group created misunderstanding within the party ahead of the polls. “An evil quarter is active this time as well ahead of the election, and they are hampering the normal activities of the party. This vested group started its evil acts like the hyena.”
Ranga, also the State Minister for Local Government, Rural Development & Cooperatives, said their party is with Awami League and helped it form the government as BNP kept their chairman in jail for years without any trial.
Earlier in the day, Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad made Ranga its secretary general removing Ruhul Amin Hawlader from the post.
Party insiders said Ershad took the decision to appease the party rank and file as there have been serious allegations that the Jatiya Party chairman in connivance with Hawlader nominated party candidates taking huge money from them, depriving many deserving ones.
Besides, they said, their chairman was also not happy with Hawlader’s performance as he could not effectively bargain with the ruling party to confirm the nomination of party presidium members Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu and Salma Islam from the Grand Alliance.
Dhaka, Dec 3 (UNB) – BNP on Monday alleged that the nominations of its nearly 50 leading candidates have been revoked as the Election Commission (EC) is working like a puppet and the government is pulling the strings from behind.
“The nominations of our 50 heavyweight candidates, including our chairperson Khaleda Zia and former MPs and popular leaders, have been scrapped with lame excuses. But the nomination of no Awami League nominated candidate has been cancelled as the Election Commission considers them as saints,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he also said the wholesale cancellation of opposition candidates’ nominations has exposed it that the EC cannot take any step without the ‘Prime Minister’s order’.
“The Election Commission is dancing like a puppet as the strings are being pulled either from Ganobhaban or from the Prime Minister’s Office,” he observed.
The BNP leader said no ruling party candidate’s nomination has been turned down as the Election Commission’s all the activities are run under the full control of the government. “Even, their (AL’s) convicted candidates’ nominations have been declared valid. Minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal’s nomination has not been cancelled though he didn’t submit necessary documents with his form. It’s now clear that this is a Commission of Sheikh Hasina.”
Rizvi said ailing ruling party ex-general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam’s nomination has been declared legal though he did not sign his nomination form, and no bank account against his name was mentioned.
He said they came to know from a credible source that the 3G and 4G mobile services will remain suspended on the voting day while the social networking sites like Facebook are being monitored from today with an evil intention.
Replying to a question, Rizvi said their party will take decisions on the seats where BNP has no candidate once the appeal process is completed.
He said their party’s many leaders and activists were arrested on Sunday at different parts of the country, including Chattogram, Narsingdi and Bagerhat, as the law enforcers continued their drive against opposition activists.