Dhaka, Nov 22 (UNB) – President of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Oli Ahmed on Thursday sought the intervention of the Election Commission (EC) in stopping the arrest and harassment of opposition leaders and activists for the sake of a credible election.
“Even after the announcement of the election schedule, many BNP leaders and activists were arrested and taken on remand over the last few days. But, the Election Commission is playing a silent spectator’s role,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference at a Banani hotel, he further said, “We think it may hamper the national election. We want the Election Commission to immediately interfere in the matter.”
Oli, also the chief coordinator of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, alleged that the government is trying to influence the election results by resorting to various ‘evil designs’.
He said the government appointed many retired secretaries as advisers on the plea of looking after various development projects to influence the election results. “The Commission should immediately cancel such appointments, and thus reflect the hopes and aspirations of people.”
The LDP chief said people’s backs are now pushed against the wall while the country’s economy may collapse anytime for lack of god governance, the rule of law and due to wrong polices and politicisation.
To get rid of the current situation, he said, people irrespective of their party, opinion and religion must get united and establish their voting rights.
Dhaka, Nov 22 (UNB) - Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda on Thursday urged the law enforcers not to harass presiding officers by visiting their houses to collect information as it embarrasses them.
“We didn’t tell the police to gather information by visiting the houses of polling officials. Don’t do this as it only embarrasses them. We don’t want this. “If you need any important information, then collect it secretly,” he said.
The CEC came up with the remarks while speaking at a special meeting with law enforcers at the city's Nirbachan Bhaban.
Claiming that no innocent person was arrested after the announcement of the election schedule, the CEC said, “Don’t arrest anyone without warrant and also don't file any case against anyone to harass them. I hope you people aren’t doing this.”
After December 15, small teams of the armed forces will be sent to each district to work at the field level, he said adding, “Coordinate with them accordingly.”
He said the help of every government agency is needed to hold fair election as it is not possible to do that by the Election Commission alone.
“The people of the country expect that the commission will hold a fair election. So, we’ve taken all the necessary measurements for holding a fair election. But, the commission alone cannot hold a fair election…the cooperation of all the government agencies is needed,” he said.
“The safety of the general people, polling agents, polling centres and all other kinds of safety depend on you. You’ve lots of responsibilities," the CEC told the law enforcers.
He hoped that the police will perform their duties with devotion and sincerity.
Mentioning that the EC believes in the independence of law enforcers, he said, “We’ve the faith in you. That doesn't mean you won’t be there in our surveillance, but don’t get scared of that."
“No innocent person will be punished. If any complaint is lodged against any member of law enforcement agencies, the Commission will investigate it first,” he added.
Four election commissioners, EC secretaries, additional secretaries, public security secretary, IGP, director General of National Identity Registration department, DMP commissioner and senior officials of the police were, among others, present at the meeting.
Dhaka, Nov 21 (UNB) - The four-day interview of the BNP’s nomination seekers concluded on Wednesday night with the party nomination board’s strong message to the party rank and file to remain united and ensure party’s victory in the election by working for candidates whoever get its tickets.
The interview formally ended around 10:15pm with the interview of nomination seekers from different districts under Dhaka division at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan.
Earlier in the day, the party nomination board, comprising its standing committee members, took the interview of 233 nomination seekers from Mymensingh and Faridpur divisions from 10am to 3pm.
Like the three previous days, BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman joined the nomination board through a telecommunication app from the UK.
BNP started interviewing its nomination hopefuls to finalise the candidates who will contest the 11th parliamentary elections with its tickets on Sunday last with the interview of those who bought party nomination forms for Rangpur division’s Panchagar-1 constituency at the same venue.
Talking to UNB, some aspirants said Tarique mainly asked them about their popularity in their respective areas, BNP’s organisational strength and their contributions to the party.
He also gave the party‘s nomination hopefuls a guideline on how they should mobilise public support and ensure the victory of the party in the election.
BNP sold 4,580 nomination papers among the aspirants who want to contest the 11th parliamentary elections with its tickets.
The 11th parliamentary elections will be held on December 30. The last date for submission of nomination papers is November 28 instead of November 19.
Earlier in the day, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told reporters that all of those who faced interview are very tested and dedicated party leaders and they will put in their all-out efforts to ensure the party’s victory in the election. “We believe the way we’re getting response from people, we’ll surely be able to remove the current autocratic regime.”
Talking to UNB after the interview, the nomination hopefuls said they were given strong messages to stay united and refrain from intra-party conflicts and violence as the party wants to return to power through a credible and peaceful general election.
They also said they were instructed to get ready to resist any kind of vote fraud with their united efforts.
The nomination board also asked the party hopefuls to work for the candidates of their alliance partners with the same spirit and provide them all-out cooperation in the greater interest of the party and have their chairperson Khaleda Zia freed from jail.
The aspirants said they assured the board of staying away from infighting, and working together with a formidable spirit so that all the candidates of the ‘Sheaf of Paddy’, the BNP’s election symbol, can come out successful.
Dhaka, Nov 21 (UNB) – Stating that his party wants to ensure balanced politics, President of Bikolpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury on Wednesday said the major party which has the prospect to form the next government should share a good number of seats with its alliance partners.
“If we’ve to ensure balanced politics, the party which will form the government should share more seats with its alliance partners,” he said.
B Chowdhury came up with the comment while talking to reporters after the interview of BDB nomination seekers at its Madhya Badda election office.
Asked how many seats he wants from the ruling party-led grand alliance, the BDB chief said, “I won’t say anything right now. We want to fix politics. We want to establish balanced politics so that no party can show arrogance.”
The BDB chief, however, said they are in negotiations over joining the grand alliance. “We informed them during our dialogue that there’re very good candidates in our alliance.”
B Chowdhury, also the chairman of Juktafront, said as people now in an election mood, the opposition parties should not issue any threat or indulge in any plot over the election as it will only create confusion in public mind.
He said their party and alliance will present their election manifesto within a few days.
B Chowdhury said the Election Commission as an independent body should take steps so that the voters can freely cast their votes and see a beautiful election.
Dhaka, Nov 21 (UNB) – BNP on Wednesday alleged that police are making lists of around 6.5 lakh pro-Awami League election officers as the Election Commission (EC) ‘entrusted’ the law enforcers with the responsibility for holding the forthcoming general election.
“It’s a matter of deep regret that the Commission, led by (Nurul) Huda, has given police all the responsibilities for arranging the 11th parliamentary elections. Police are making lists by selecting about 6.5 lakh pro-Awami League partisan election officials,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, he further said, “Police have already prepared a list of 41,000 presiding officers across the country. They’re now making the lists of around 2 lakh assistant presiding officers and 4 lakh polling officers. The subservient Election Commission is now going to finalise the lists made by the police.”
The BNP leader claimed that they have sufficient documents in their hands behind their allegation that police are making the lists of election officers.
He alleged that though different newspapers and online portals published reports on the matter, the ‘toothless and nail-less’ EC is playing a mysterious silent role in this regard. “In some cases, they’re also denying it.”
Rizvi said it has now become clear like daylight that the government and the Election Commission has indulged in a fresh plot to snatch people’s voting rights.
He also alleged that a fair and credible election is not possible under an EC which is loyal to the government. “The Election Commission is walking towards a path of stage-managed election. The Commission and police administration is responsible for not still creating a level-playing field.”
Rizvi also criticised the EC for not reshuffling the police and local administration even after the announcement of the election schedule. “The pro-Awami League partisan officials are still kept in different important posts. The Commission hasn’t yet transferred any SP, DC, UNO and OC.”
He urged the Commission to take steps for stopping the arrest of BNP leaders and activists and creating a level-playing field for holding a credible election.