Dhaka, Dec 19 (UNB) - Jatiya Oikyafront chief Dr Kamal Hossain on Wednesday warned that the consequences will be very bad if the 11th parliamentary elections are not held in a fair and credible manner.
“I see a very bright future of the country if the election is held in a fair and acceptable manner. But if a fair election is affected and halted, the consequences will be very dangerous. Everyone should keep it in mind,” he said.
Dr Kamal issued the warning while speaking at a discussion at Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) as the chief guest.
Bangladesh Human Rights Federation arranged the programme on human rights, good governance and voting rights, marking the International Human Rights Day and the country’s Victory Day.
Mentioning that only 10 days are left for the election, the Oikyafront chief called upon the Election Commission (EC) to exert its all constitutional power to ensure a credible balloting and protect people’s voting rights and the count’s independence. “Refrain from implementing the government’s unfair directives.”
He alleged that the police are violating the human rights by creating panic among people. “You (EC) have now all the authorities to stop police from arresting people.”
Voters have their constitutional guarantee to exercise their right to franchise independently. I think you (EC) are aware of it, but remind you again. Use your constitutional power to prevent the police from doing unfair acts,” Dr Kamal, also the Gano Forum, President, added.
He questioned whether the EC has given police any charge to attack people and obstruct them from carrying out electioneering.
“Why’re there so many police personnel on the streets? Whether the law-and-order situation has reached such a situation that the police now need to stand on the streets. If anyone calls it good governance, I’ll say that person is lying. Even, I can say this standing before the police -- arrest me if you can,” the Gono Forum leader said.
He alleged that the government is trying to stage a farce in the name of election by letting police loose against common people.
The Oikyafront chief said the government should not forget that the nation attained the independence and a constitution at the cost of blood of 30 lakh martyrs. “We’re ready to give you all the 300 seats if you want to hold a so-called election.”
He said the government is trying to have its candidates elected by force to retain power for another five years.
Under the circumstances, Dr Kamal said people must get united to exercise their voting rights and ensure good governance and human rights. “I’m observing that the worry of people over their voting rights is growing.”
He said it will be an onslaught on the country’s independence if people fail to cast their votes independently. "No one should carry out such attack as it’s tantamount to sedition."
Dhaka, Dec 19 (UNB) – Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder on Wednesday said Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda has hurt the existence of an election commissioner by terming his recent statement over the absence of level-playing field in the election untrue.
“In Rangamati on December 18, CEC KM Nurul Huda said I had lied saying there’s no level-plying filed in the election. I’m strongly protesting his statement. Through his remarks, he has hit the existence of an election commissioner,” he said at a press briefing at the city's Nirbachan Bhaban.
“It should keep in mind that all the commissioners, including the CEC, are equal,” he said.
“Earlier, the CEC made several comments about me, but I never protested. But I couldn’t resist me from protesting his speech in Rangamati on December 18 as he said I lied by saying there’s no level-playing field ahead of the election.”
“Responding to a question of a journalist on December 17, I said them to ask their conscience whether there is any level-playing field. Till now, I’m telling all concerned to analyze their own conscience whether there’s any level-playing field,” said Mahbub Talukder.
EC Mahbub Talukder on Monday said he does not think there is any level-playing for the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
“I don’t think there’s anything like level-playing field. The term ‘level-playing field’ has turned into a pointless world,” he said while replying to queries from reporters in written.
Dhaka, Dec 19 (UNB) - Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday reiterated that she does not want to go to power by any means which may destabilise the present peaceful situation in the country.
"I don't have any desire to go to power by any means possible …if we can get elected by people’s vote then it’s Alhamdullillah. If we can’t retain power, there is no problem. Let peace prevail in the country," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said this while addressing the Businessmen Conference titled 'Bangladesh towards peace and prosperity' at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) organised by the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).
She said her party wants to see a peaceful election in the country as many political parties are contesting the 11th general election of the country.
The AL president said a beautiful and peaceful situation prevailing in the country. "Let the election be held maintaining this peaceful atmosphere, the party which will get the people's mandate will be there in power," she said.
The Prime Minister said she wanted the people of the country to cast their votes peacefully and choose their desired government. "Let that environment prevail in the country… I do want that."
Hasina mentioned if the peaceful situation prevails in the country the country will advance further.
She sought support from the businesses community for the 'Boat' to maintain the pace of development and finish the incomplete development projects to make the country developed and prosperous one.
"We’ve taken so many projects including some mega projects, we need more time to complete those," Hasina said.
Mentioning the private sector as the driving force of the economy, she said the private sector will be the key player while the government will act as the facilitator.
Hasina said the drive against militancy, terrorism and drugs will continue while the government will show zero tolerance against corruption.
Former FBCCI presidents Mahbubur Rahman, Salman F Rahman, Mir Nasir Hossain and AK Azad, and Rokeya Afzal Rahman, Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Chamber (MCCI) president Nihat Kabir, Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Siddiqur Rahman, Alhaj Sufi M Mizanur Rahman, Incepta Pharmaceuticals managing director Abdul Muktadir, ACI chairman Anis Ud Dowla, GP CEO Michael Foley, managing director of Microsoft Bangladesh Sonia Bashir Kabir, City Group chairman Fazlur Rahman and Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services BASIS) president Syed Almas Kabir also spoke at the programme .
It was also addressed by oresident of Leather Goods And Footwear Manufacturer & Exporter’s Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) Saiful Islam, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) Abul kashem khan, Bashundhara Group chairman Ahmed akbar sobhan, Berger Paits managing director Rupali Chowdhury, Mohammadi Group managing director Rubana Haq, AKM Selim Osman, MP, Former president of BGMEA Engineer Kutub Uddin Ahmed , Tipu Munshi, MP, former BGMEA president Atiqul Islam, Anwar Group managing director Manowar Hossain, Abdul Momen Sugar Refinery chairman Mainuddin Momen, BSRM GRoup chairman Ali Hossain Akbar FCA, former BGMEA president Anwarul Alam Chowdhury Parvez, Dokan Malik Samity President Helal Uddin and Captain Anisur Rahman Sinha of Opex Group. FBCCI president Md. Shafiul Islam (Mohiuddin) moderated it.
Cumilla, Dec 19 (UNB) – BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday called upon voters to ensure the victory of ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ through a ‘vote revolution’ on December 30 to free Khaleda Zia from jail and ‘restore’ democracy.
“Cast your votes for the ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ to bring democracy back, free Khaleda Zia and ensure Tarique Rahman’s homecoming,” he said.
The BNP leader came up with the call at a wayside rally at Daudkandi on his way to Chandina and Soagazi here to carry out electioneering in favour of the candidates of their party and alliance partners.
Fakhrul called upon people to go to polling stations braving all the obstacles and intimidations. “Stage a vote revolution on December 30…we’ll surely succeed.”
The BNP leader sought votes for BNP’s candidate for Cumilla-1 and Cumilla-2 seats Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain to ensure his victory.
Later speaking at a rally at Chandina’s Dr Inam Ahmed College ground, Fakhrul urged people to go to polling stations in groups on the election day to cast their votes in favour of ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ and foil any attempt to rig votes.
“Your one vote can ensure Khaleda Zia’s release and restore democracy. Go to polling stations in groups to cast your votes and stay there till the end of counting. Don’t leave the voting centres under any circumstance,” he told the audience.
The BNP leader also called upon people to ensure the victory of Cumilla-7 candidate Redwan Ahmed through casting their votes for him.
He said a ‘fake’ government and the Election Commission (EC) are working together to annihilate democracy. “We would like to say people won’t accept it.”
Fakhrul alleged that the EC is not creating a level-playing field as it is not working neutrally. “The election is going to turn into a farce. The country’s people can understand everything and I believe all plots and evil plans will be foiled with people’s united efforts.”
The BNP leader also addressed a rally at Soagazi Old Helipad field and got emotional as he sought votes for jailed BNP candidate for Cumilla-10 Monirul Haque Chowdhury.
Before Fakhrul, Monirul’s daughter and Dhaka University teacher Dr Chowdhury Saima Ferdous also sought votes for her father in tears, creating an emotional scenario.
Later, speaking at the rally, Fakhrul said, “My daughter Saima was not supposed to address the rally, but she was forced to come here for her father. I beg votes to you for my friend Monirul Haque Chowdhury and for our leader Khaleda Zia.”
“Our many young leaders and activists have to pull rickshaw and work as hawkers in Dhaka as they can’t stay in their areas in the face of false cases. Were these our hopes and aspirations and dream during the Liberation War? Awami League has shattered our all dreams of independence,” a weeping Fakhrul said.
Speaking at the programme, Krishak Sramik Janata League President Abdul Kader Siddiqui said people will get freed from Awami League’s misrule on December 30.
He urged people not to get frightened over the arrest and repression, but to go to polling stations braving all barriers to ensure the victory of ‘Sheaf of ‘Paddy.
Earlier, Fakhrul started his journey for Cumilla from BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office in the capital around 10am to conduct election campaign.
Dhaka, Dec 19 (UNB) - Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Wednesday asked the officials to be involved in the announcement of election results to remain cautious in performing their duties as one mistake can create a big disorder.
“Be careful so that not a single mistake can occur -- neither in vote counting nor announcement of results,” the CEC told the election officials.
K M Nurul Huda came up with the directive while speaking at a training session on Election Management System (EMS), Candidate Information Management System (CIMS) and Result Management System (RMS) at Nirbachan Bhaban in the morning.
Nurul Huda said, “You’ve to receive the training properly and prove it in the field through performing your duties flawlessly as just one mistake can create a big disorder.”
The CEC went on to say, “Don’t allow one mistake to thwart the election process. Technical persons are very important in the election process as results from all the polling centres in the country will come through the software. If there’s any fault, the election results might be changed,” he said.
“You’ve to apply your full capacity and merit and work hard to ensure a fair election,” he urged the officials.
The CEC said the Commission is amazed to see the public interest centering the election and the festive mood that is prevailing across the country. “We’ve to remain alert so that the interest and confidence of people are not affected by our mistakes.”
The Commission, Huda said, is taking into consideration the suggestions made by political parties and their candidates.