Dhaka, Dec 22 (UNB) – Two organisations urged the Election Commission on Saturday to scrap candidatures of Jamaat-e-Islami candidates contesting the upcoming national polls.
Projonmo 71, an organisation of martyrs’ children, submitted a memorandum to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda. Cultural organisation 'Gourab 71' wrote to the CEC about their demand.
“The High Court cancelled Jamaat’s registration as the party’s charter contradicted our country’s constitution. The International Crimes Tribunal called Jamaat a ‘criminal party’ for its role during the 1971 [Liberation War],” the letter read.
Jamaat’s registration with the EC was cancelled on August 1, 2013 by the High Court. The EC finally scrapped the registration on October 29 this year, preventing Jamaat from contesting the polls as a party.
But that did not stop 22 of its candidates from getting ready to contest the election with BNP’s electoral symbol. Three others are taking part as independents.
Their participation is a clear violation of the electoral code of conduct, Gourab 71 wrote.
In its memorandum, Projonmo 71 argued that anyone, who had anti-liberation role, should be barred from contesting the election and urged the CEC to take steps in this regard.
Narayanganj, Dec 21 (UNB) – BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Friday said their party leaders and activists will defy any sort of obstruction on the election day on December 30.
“A candidate with the ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ symbol means a representative of our leader Khaleda Zia. She’ll be released with your one vote. Keeping it in mind, come to the polling stations together with your family members and neighbours in the morning on the poling day,” he said.
Speaking at an election rally, the BNP leader further said, “On December 30, we’ll defy all obstacles. Stay at the voting centres until the vote counting after casting your votes. We’ll leave the polling stations with the victory.”
SM Akram, Jatiya Oikyafront candidate for Narayanganj-5 constituency, arranged the rally at the municipality field at Sonakanda here.
Urging all to be vigilant, the BNP secretary general said, “They (Awami League) are expert in vote-rigging and they’re also planning to stuff ballot boxes the night before the voting.… so, stay alert from the night and guard the polling centres from the day before the polling.”
He also urged members of law enforcement agencies, including the armed forces, to perform their duties neutrally, saying, “You’re responsible for holding the election and you’re oath-bound that you’ll work neutrally. That’s what the nation expects. Please work in people’s interest, don’t go against the people.”
Fakhrul also urged the BNP leaders and activists to work hard and make door-to-door visits to woo voters. “Only over a week is left. Work hard to organise the ‘revolutionary’ people of Narayanganj. Don’t be afraid, there’s nothing to fear for. People die only once.”
Oikyafront’s senior leaders, including Krishak Sramik Janata League president Abdul Kader Siddique and Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, among others, spoke on the occasion.
AL men ‘block’ road to foil Oikyafront’s rally
Earlier, Awami League men allegedly blocked the Dhaka-Chattogram highway burning tyres at Madanpur in Bandar upazila apparently to foil Oikyafront’s rally in Sonakanda.
BNP leaders alleged that the AL men took position on the road in Kanchpur Bridge area with sticks and put barricade on the road around 3pm, barring the Oikyafront leaders and their motorcade from approaching further.
Later, the Oikyafront leaders with the help of law enforcers reached the venue using an alternative route.
Harun-or-Rashid, Narayanganj Police Super, said police rushed in and made all necessary arrangements for holding the rally.
Police also made sure that Oikyafront leaders and their motorcade reached Dhaka safely after their meeting, he added.
Dhaka, Dec 21 (UNB) – Alleging that they gave ‘false’ information in their affidavits, Awami League on Friday urged the Election Commission not to allow Jamaat-e-Islami leaders to contest the 11th national election with ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ symbol.
“Jamaat leaders filed nominations as BNP candidates. But, the website of their party mentions their names and party posts they hold. It’ a clear violation of the electoral code of conduct as they provided false information in their affidavits,” said AL Election Conducting Committee Co-chairman HT Imam.
While talking to reporters at the Nirbachan Bhaban after a 10-member AL delegation, led him, held a meeting with the Election Commission, he also said, “So, they (Jamaat leaders) can’t remain in the election race.”
The AL team submitted a letter containing their complaint to the Commission in the afternoon.
HT Imam alleged that BNP activists were attacking AL candidates and their supporters across the country. “As everything is in the hands of the Commission, we’ve approached them with detailed information so that it takes action in this regard.”
Claiming that AL activists are always nonviolent, he said, “The party which holds the Liberation War spirit is always attacked.”
HT Imam, also Prime Minister’s adviser, said they informed the Commission about BNP's violation of the electoral code of conduct in posters and banners. “As per the rules, only the photographs of the existing chief of a party and the candidate concerned should be on a poster. But, the BNP candidates have printed posters containing photographs of both Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman," he said, urging the Commission look into it whether a fugitive convict’s image can be used in poster.
He also expressed their concerns over four NGOs out of 118 enlisted as election observers --- Khan Foundation, Democracy Watch, Lighthouse and Manobadhikar Shomonnoy Parishad -- saying these NGOs are working directly under the command of BNP leaders.
"From my past experience, I've seen that these NGOs tried to influence the election environment on the election day working for them. They must be banned and we've drawn EC's attention to it,” HT Imam said, adding that they want a free, fair and internationally accepted election.
Noakhali, Dec 21 (UNB) – Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Friday said the Election Commission will present a fair and neutral election on December 30 with government’s assistance.
He made the remarks while addressing an election rally at Narasinghapur Govt Primary School ground in Kabirhat upazila in the evening.
Quader, also Road Transport and Bridges Minister, took a swipe at Jatiya Oikyafront chief Dr Kamal Hossain, saying he is leading an alliance with those anti-liberation forces who burned people to death at the directive of convict Tarique Rahman.
He also claimed the BNP had dragged the country into darkness while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken it to the path of light. “The country will plunge into darkness again if BNP comes to power.”
About BNP’s announcement to guard polling stations on the election day, the ruling party leader said they will protect the centres until the vote counting ends.
Earlier, he addressed several rallies in Companiganj upazila.
Dhaka, Dec 21 (UNB) – BNP’s Satkhira-1 candidate Habibul Islam Habib has sought the removal of Kalaroa Police Station Officer-in-Charge Mafur Ahmmed, who openly campaigned for the ruling Awami League.
Habib filed a written complaint to the Election Commission on Friday.
A video of OC Maruf delivering a pro-AL speech made rounds on the social media on Thursday.
“On behalf of the administration, I want to tell you that you will [have to] vote for the pro-liberation force. Vote for ‘boat’ (AL’s electoral symbol). Your vote is very important for strengthening the hands of Sheikh Hasina,” he is heard saying.
“The Awami League-led government is needed for the continuous development [of the country]. Let’s vote this government to power again,” he added.
His speech raised questions on whether an officer, who will be on active election duty, can campaign for political parties. The OC claimed his speech had been “edited.”
BNP’s Habib also accused OC Maruf of obstructing their campaigns and vandalising houses of his party’s activists. He informed the EC that he had left the area over security concerns.
Satkhira’s Deputy Commissioner and Returning Officer SM Mostofa Kamal said it was illegal for a responsible government employee to seek vote for any candidate. “We will inform the EC and take steps as per its directives,” he said.
Mostofa said Satkhira police chief had already been informed and asked to take action.
BNP candidate Habib also accused the constituency’s AL-led alliance candidate Mustafa Lutfullah of breaching the polls code by using Sheikh Hasina’s image on posters instead of his party chief’s.