Dhaka, Nov 13 (UNB) - Female leaders of different political parties at a workshop here on Tuesday called for raising the nomination to women candidates by political parties in the forthcoming generation election to 33 percent for their real empowerment.
At the workshop, they came up with the common voice that female leaders and workers in their respective political parties are not being treated equally with their male counterparts.
Rather, they said, they always face discriminations when it comes to party leadership role due to conventional attitude of party leaders.
“Still, women are being treated as women, not as persons, by all political parties,” Selima Hossain, a former minister and BNP vice chairman, told the workshop organised by Democracy International (DI) at a city hotel.
The workshop titled ‘Advancing Women’s Leadership in the General Election: Increasing Women Candidate and Campaign Managers’ was addressed, among others, by Jatiya Party Presidium member Masuda Rashid Chowdhury, Awami League education secretary Shamsunnahar Chapa, BNP leader Shirin Sultana and a good number of aspirant candidates of Awami League, BNP and Jatiya Party.
Katie Croke, COP of DI, presided over the programme. USAID and UKAid were its co-organisers.
At one stage of the function, tension escalated when Awami League leader Shamsunnahar said BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was rightly imprisoned for her corruption.
The BNP female leaders who were present there protested the remark loudly.
Speaking at the programme, BNP leader Selima Hossain alleged that their party Chairperson Khaleda Zia was imprisoned illegally only to make her a political victim.
She also said women are the victims of discriminations in politics as well although the top leaders of all the parties inside and outside of parliament are women.
Awami League leader Shamsunnahar Chapa said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been trying hard for the development of the women folk in society.
She said the SDGs are unlikely to be achieved if 33 percent of female candidates are not given nominations by political parties to contest the national election.
BNP leader Shirin Sultana said all the political parties still hold the same view that female candidates cannot compete with their male counterparts in generation elections.
She said they show the excuse of keeping seats reserved seats in parliament when it comes to giving nominations to female candidates.
Shirin Sultana urged all to work together to raise the rate of nomination to female candidates by different parties to 33 percent.
Mohila Awami League general secretary Mahmuda Begum said having 33 percent female candidates in parliamentary elections will not be ensured unless a law is put in place by the Election Commission.
Dhaka, Nov 13 (UNB) - BNP on Tuesday submitted another list of 1002 ‘fictitious cases’ filed against its leaders and activists to the Prime Ministers’ Office (PMO).
BNP assistant office secretary Taiful Islam Tipu told UNB that the fresh list of ‘fictitious cases’ was submitted to the PMO at 4:50pm and an official, Ruhul Amin, received it.
He said it was a partial list like that of previous one they submitted last week.
The BNP leader said they will send more lists of such cases to the PMO in the days to come. “We’ve so far submitted the list of 2,048 cases.”
Besides, he said, they will submit the same list to Awami League President’s Dhanmondi office.
During a dialogue with Dr Kamal Hosain-led Jatiya Oikyafront on November 1, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the BNP leaders to submit the list of its arrested leaders and activists to her.
In a letter attached with the list, BNP requested the government to stop the arrest and harassment of its leaders and activists in ‘false’ and ‘fictitious’ cases.
The party also urged the government to withdraw the cases.
Earlier on Nov 7, the party submitted a list of 1,046 such cases against its leaders and activists to the PMO.
Dhaka, Nov 13 (UNB) – Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Tuesday said the resignation letters of the four technocrat ministers will come into effect once the Prime Minister accepts those.
“The prime minister may accept their letters any time,” Tofail said while briefing journalists following a meeting with Norwegian Ambassador HH Sidsel Bleken at his secretariat office in the city.
Responding to a query from a reporter whether Khaleda Zia will be able to contest the 11th national election, Tofail said, “As per the constitution, a convict cannot contest any election.”
Asked about fixing the date of the 11th national election on December 30 where foreign election observers and diplomats may not come due to Christmas and New Year, the minister said, “There’s no bar from our side.”
He also said the election will be fair and free as all the political parties will be participating in it.
Responding to a question about the entry of journalists into polling stations, Tofail said the Election Commission is the authority to decide it.
In response to another question whether the seven-point demand of Jatiya Oikyafront could be met, Tofail said the Oikyafront leaders also know it very well that their all the demands could not be fulfilled and that is why they have decided to contest the election.
“Their first demand was the resignation of Prime Minister. If India can hold election under their Prime Minister, what’s the problem in Bangladesh?” he questioned.
“We expect that the election will be held in a peaceful atmosphere with the participation of all the political parties,” the minister hoped.
A total 4,300 aspirants have collected Awami League’s nomination paper so far and the Prime Minister will provide directions to them on Wednesday, he said.
“Besides, the parliamentary board meeting will be held after 15 November. Then the final decision about the nomination will be taken,” said Tofail.
During the meeting with Norwegian Ambassador HH Sidsel Bleken, Tofail said they discussed Bangladesh’s forthcoming election and the trade and commerce between the two countries.
Thirteen Norwegian companies have invested US$ 250 million in Bangladesh so far, he said.
Dhaka, Nov 13 (UNB) – A delegation of Jatiya Oikyafront, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, will meet the Election Commission on Wednesday, seeking deferment of the national election by a month.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir came up with the announcement after a meeting of Oikyafront steering committee at Dr Kamal Hossain’s Motijheel Chamber.
He said Kamal Hossain along with the Oikyafront’s steering committee members will hold a meeting with the EC at Nirbachan Bhaban at 12pm on Wednesday.
“The Election Commission, I think, failed to take steps for holding a free, fair and credible election. The Commission was supposed to talk to political parties before the election schedule announcement, but they didn’t,” he said.
The Oikyafront spokesman said they have got upset as the EC fixed December 30 for holding the election without any discussion with the political parties. “We think it’s extremely essential to accept our demand for delaying the election by one month.”
He said foreign election observers will not have any scope to monitor the election if it is held on December 30 as they will remain busy due to the Christmas and New Year events.
Under, the circumstances, he said they will hold the meeting with the EC and talk about their various demands and observations on the election.
Besides, Fakhrul said Dr Kamal Hossain will exchange views with the editors of different print media on Friday and then will sit with the heads of electronic media.
Replying to a question, he said they still did not settle the seat-sharing issue with their alliance partners.
Earlier in the day, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda said there is no way to defer the date of the 11th national parliamentary elections further.
“There's no scope to delay it further. So, it won't be possible to defer the date as we've already completed all the preparations for holding the election on December 30,” he said while inaugurating the training session of returning officers at the Election Commission office here in the morning.
Dhaka, Nov 13 (UNB) – BNP on Tuesday alleged that the general election date was fixed on December 30 at the behest of the government to rig vote amid the absence of foreign election observers and diplomats due to Christmas and New Year.
“The election date has been set on December 30 so that foreign observers can’t stay here and monitor the polls. The foreign observers, ambassadors, high commissioners and officials of different countries will be on leave on the occasion of Christmas , 31st and New Year,” said party senior joint secretary general Rizvi Ahmed.
Speaking at a press briefing at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he renewed their demand for deferring the election schedule by a month. “A fresh schedule must be announced further and a level-playing field will have to be created for all the political parties.”
Amid demand from opposition political parties, the Election Commission on Monday deferred the 11th national election to December 30 from December 23.
Rizvi criticized the Election Commission (EC) for its decision on using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in 80-100 constituencies, saying it is part of a 'master plan of vote rigging'.
He urged the EC to retreat from its decision of using the EVMs for the sake of holding a credible election.
The BNP leader alleged that their party’s ailing chairperson Khaleda Zia has been kept in jail only to minus her from election and politics out of vengeance.
He demanded Khaleda be freed immediately without any condition.
Rizvi said law enforcers have continued arresting their party leaders and activists in false cases and raiding their houses as the EC has failed to ensure a minimum election atmosphere.
Like the previous day, huge BNP nomination hopefuls from across the country started gathering in front of the party office since early morning along with their thousands of supporters to collect nomination papers.
The party started the sale of the nomination papers around 10am on the second day today.
According to the party sources, a total of 1,326 forms were sold on the first day on Monday. Each nomination seekers has to pay Tk 5,000 to buy the form.
The aspirants can collect the nomination form until November 16 as the deadline has been extended by two more days.