Dhaka, Nov 25 (UNB) - BNP on Sunday raised a complaint with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda that police are still arresting their leaders and activists across the country ahead of the 11th parliamentary elections.
"The countrywide arrest continues against BNP leaders and activists. Police are carrying out their arrest business across the country," BNP vice chairman Maj (retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed Bir Brikram told reporters after submitting its complaint before the CEC at the latter's Nirbachan Bhaban office.
Hafiz said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir sent him to the Election Commission.
He said they demanded the Election Commission take measures for stopping such activities ahead of the election slated for December 30.
The BNP leader said the CEC assured them of taking measures over the cases filed after the announcement of the election schedule.
Dhaka, Nov 25 (UNB) - The BNP-led 20-party alliance on Sunday demanded the transfer of every Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police to another district ahead of the upcoming parliamentary polls.
"We demanded transfer of all the DCs and SPs to other districts from their existing workplaces," Col (retd) Oli Ahmed told reporters after a meeting between a 20-party alliance delegation and election commissioner Rafiqul Islam at Nirbachan Bhaban in the city.
He said they also demanded the removal of controversial officials from election duties.
Mentioning that police kept arresting BNP leaders and activists and their possible election agents, he said, "We've told them that no one can be arrested till December 30. Or else, we'll think the Election Commission is not neutral one."
"No congenial environment has so far been created for holding a fair election," alleged Oli Ahmed, also President of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), a component of the 20-party alliance.
He said many ‘fictitious’ cases were filed against unnamed accused that means a deep-rooted conspiracy is there behind it.
At the meeting, the 20-party alliance team placed a total of 13 demands before the Commission.
The other demands include deployment of the armed forces personnel alongside police to maintain the law and order during the election, providing the armed forces personnel with the power of arresting miscreants and refraining from using electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the election defying public opinions.
"The EC couldn’t yet prove that they’re working fairly or neutrally," the LDP chief said replying to a query.
He alleged that the government is trying to intimidate the opposition leaders and activists by filing false cases and arresting them regularly for implementing its conspiracy and blueprint over the election. "The Election Commission needs to take visible measures in this regard. Or else, the election may be foiled," he said.
Oli Ahmed alleged that ministers and MPs were carrying out election campaign using state facilities. "In this circumstance, a fair election can't be expected. The Commission will have to take effective steps," he said.
BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan and Bangladesh Kalyan Party Chairman Major General (retd) Syed Mohammad Ibrahim were among the 20-party delegation members.
However, Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP) Chairman Andaleeve Rahman Partho left the meeting venue just before the meeting started.
Dhaka, Nov 25 (UNB) – Awami League MP and former state minister for LGRD Jahangir Kabir Nanak failed to have the Awami League ticket to contest the 11th parliamentary elections from Dhaka-13 constituency.
Sadek Khan, general secretary of Awami League’s Dhaka City (north) unit, got the nomination letter from Awami League for contesting the polls.
Earlier in the day, Awami League started issuing letters to the aspirants who have been selected to contest the upcoming 11th parliamentary elections scheduled to be held on December 30.
Party senior leaders started the process at its Bangabandhu Avenue office at 10:30 am.
The nomination seekers said they got phone calls on Saturday for receiving the nomination letters from the party office.
Jahangir Kabir Nanak, joint general secretary of Bangladesh Awami League, was elected Member of Parliament from Dhaka-13 in 2014.
Dhaka, Nov 25 (UNB) - Gano Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain on Sunday demanded the replacement of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda with a credible person for holding a free and fair national election.
“We couldn’t be happy after talking to the CEC. We demand that he be replaced with a credible person,” Dr Kamal said while briefing journalists about the country’s overall political situation and election atmosphere at the Jatiya Press Club.
He further said, “He (Huda) should be replaced not removed. I would like to tell the CEC again we’re not happy with over you. We may change our opinion reviewing your activities. We want you to work neutrally from today, no matter what you did in the past.”
As per the Constitution, the Gano Forum Chief said the CEC should work neutrally and independently without being directed by any one. “But, we’re forced to say you’ve so far failed to demonstrate your impartiality.”
“I sincerely request the CEC to ask his conscience whether he is working spontaneously as per his own understanding or at the behest of anybody. Acting as per anybody’s directives by the CEC is not only a crime, but also a violation of the Constitution. If you continue to do that you’ll be considered as a violator of the Constitution in history,” he added.
Referring to the CEC’s comment that all the arrests are being made as per his directives, Dr Kamal asked Nurul Huda to explain with documents as to why he is issuing orders to arrest people. “Your explanation will help us examine whether your actions are justified or you’re doing those as an abettor of the government.”
He also warned that they may move the court seeking remedy if the Commission does not change its current attitude towards opposition.
The Gono Forum chief said the wholesale arrest of leaders and activists of opposition parties is still going on which is not conducive to creating a congenial election atmosphere. “This wholesale arrest should be stopped.”
Dr Kamal said, “Police are the force of the state…they aren’t the government force. Police have to work for creating a proper election atmosphere. They must provide legal protection to opposition parties.”
The eminent jurist urged the CEC to tell the police to help create a proper election atmosphere so that all candidates can reach out to their supporters and carry out their election campaigns with equal opportunities.
He said the government is making it impossible to hold a neutral and credible election with its ‘undemocratic’ activities and ‘wholesale’ arrest of opposition leaders and activists.
Dr Kamal said they are waiting with eagerness to witness a fair and acceptable election where people, the country’s owners, will get a chance to exercise their right to franchise freely.
Showing a photograph, he strongly criticised the police for the way they arrested BNP nomination hopeful Monirul Haque Chowdhury.
The Gano Forum president called upon media to neutrally play their role and depict the real scenario of the country as it will help create a healthy atmosphere for a fair election.
He also opposed the EC’s decision on using the EVM in six constituencies and said most parties are against it.
Replying to a question on seat sharing with BNP, Kamal said there is a possibility of both creating a distance and reaching a consensus over the issue. “We forged the unity for uniting people, and we all parties will field the candidates who will be acceptable to people, responsible and can play a good role in restoring democracy.”
He said they will finalise the candidates of their alliance by two or three days.
Earlier, in a written speech, Gano Forum executive president Subrata Chowdhury alleged that Ganobhaban, the ministers’ residences and government offices are being used for political activities by violating the electoral code of conduct. “But the Election Commission is playing a silent role.”
He also alleged that though the administration and the law enforcers remain under the jurisdiction of the Commission during the election, the opposition leaders and activists are being constantly arrested and harassed. “Even, the possible candidates are being arrested and implicated in various cases at the behest of the government high-ups. The judiciary is also being used so that the arrested people can’t get bail within a short time.”
Besides, Subrata said, the ruling party candidates are carrying out election campaigns and with assistance and protocol of law enforcers and administration while law enforcers are creating obstacles to opposition candidates’ electioneering and meetings.
At the beginning of the press meet, Dr Kamal introduced slain former Awami League Finance Minister Shah AMS Kibria’s son Reza Kibria and former Kurigram Awami League leader Maj Gen (retd) AMSA Amin who recently joined Gano Forum.
The duo said they joined Gano Forum to work for the country under the leadership of Dr Kamal.
At the end of the press conference, private TV Channel ETV’s ex-chairman Abuds Salam joined Gano Forum.
Krishak Sramik Janata League president Abdul Kader Siddiqui, Gano Forum general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu and Jatiya Oikya Prokriya leader Sultan Mansur were, among others, present.
Dhaka, Nov 25 (UNB) - Jatiya Oikyafront, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, will finalise its candidates for all the 300 constituencies by Wednesday based on a consensus of its alliance partners.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir came up with the remark while talking to reporters at the alliance chief’s chamber in the city’s Motijheel area on Sunday.
“We interviewed all the nomination seekers for four days and all the other parties of Jatiya Oikyafront and 20-party also took the interview of their candidates. Now, we’re in discussions to finalise the list,” he said.
The BNP leader further said, “We hope we’ll be able to reach a consensus over the nominations before the last date of nomination paper submission (Nov 28).”
He, however, said if they cannot finalise all the candidates by November 28, they will complete it before the last date of withdrawal of candidature.
Fakhrul, also the spokesman of Jatiya Oikyafront, said the victory of their alliance is certain if they can stay in the election till the last day.
He came down hard on the Election Commission (EC) saying it still could not manifest its neutrality through its activities. “Not only we, but also the civil society members and those who are working for a fair election are saying the Election Commission still could not take any step to prove its impartiality.”
The BNP leader said they submitted a list of factious cases to the Commission and another list of partisan officials, but no action was taken to this end.
“He (CEC) made a dangerous comment yesterday (Saturday) that police are now under their authority and they’re doing everything as per their directives. That means all the fictitious cases are being filed at their behest,” he observed.
Fakhrul said their party leaders and activists are being harassed in many ways as the EC could not create a level-playing field yet.
He said their chairperson Khaleda Zia has not been released while their party’s many prospective candidates are still in jail.
The BNP leader said the EC could not earn their confidence that the election will be held in a free and fair manner. “We’re working for a credible election and will continue our struggle till the last.”
Earlier, senior leaders of Oikyafront held a meeting at Kamal Hossain’s chamber and talked about finalising nomination of the alliance’s candidates.
Apart from Fakhrul, Krishak Sramik Janata League president Kader Siddiqui, Gano Forum general secretary Mostafa Mohsain Montu, executive president Subrata Chowdhury and Jatiya Oikya Prokriya’s Sultan Mohammad Mansur were present at the meeting with Dr Kamal Hossain in the chair.