Dhaka, Sept 5 (UNB) – Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Wednesday said the current Election Commission is committed to arranging a free, fair and acceptable election at the year-end.
“The present Election Commission will take the measure whatever is needed for arranging a fair election,” he said.
The CEC was addressing the inaugural session of the 9th meeting of the Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA) at hotel Radisson Blu in the city.
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury inaugurated the two-day FEMBoSA meeting.
Representatives from the Election Commissions of eight countries --Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka -- attended the meeting.
At the meeting, immediate past chair of FEMBoSA and Chairman of Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan Dr Gulajan Abdul Badi Sayeed handed over the chair to Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda.
Nurul Huda said the Election Commission is determined to hold a free and fair election as per the Constitution.
About the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), he said the Commission has proposed the amendment to the Representation of the People Order incorporating the provision to use the machines in the parliamentary elections as the EC got a marked success using the machines in local body elections.
Talking about the FEMBoSA meeting, the DEC said this conference will help share experiences among members of the Forum.
Addressing the opening session, former chief election commission Dr ATM Shamsul Huda said the EVMs should not be imposed hurriedly in the national election.
He said there is nothing to hurry as EVMs can be used in the general election on trial basis after gaining public trust by using those in local body polls.
Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury said it is important to gain public confidence in the parliamentary elections as Parliament is the centre point in a parliamentary democracy.
“The main foundation of democracy is free, fair and inclusive elections. So, ensuring transparency in the electoral process is one of the prerequisites to free polls,” she said.
In the two-day FEMBoSA meeting, three general sessions and eight technical sessions are scheduled to be held.
The FEMBoSA was established in 2010 with election management bodies of the South Asian countries.
Dhaka, Sept 5 (UNB) - BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Wednesday told the special court-5 inside the Old Dhaka Central Jail to give her punishment as much as it wants as she thinks she will not get justice.
As the trial proceedings in Zia Charitable Trust graft case in the newly set up makeshift court in the jail began, the authorities brought Khaleda to the court in a wheelchair around 12:15pm.
Taking permission from the special court-5 judge M Akhtaruzzaman, the BNP chief said the, “There’s no justice here. You can punish me for as many days as you want.”
Stating that she is sick, Khaleda said she will neither be able to appear before the court repeatedly nor can stay there for a long time. “My legs will swell if I keep sitting here (on wheelchair) for long.”
Later, the judge adjourned the court and set September 12-13 for the next hearing on the case.
On Tuesday, the government issued a gazette notification about shifting the makeshift court on Bakshibazar Alia Madrasah premises to Old Dhaka Central Jail to hold the trial of Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
Khaleda has been staying in the jail since she was convicted in Zia Orphanage graft case on February 8 last.
Before leaving the court, Khaleda told journalists that her no senior lawyer was present in the court. “I wouldn’t have come here had I known it.”
She also questioned as to why the notice on shifting the court was not issued at least a week ago instead of yesterday (Tuesday). “I’ve told the court I can’t appear before it repeatedly as I’m sick. I know I won’t get justice from the court.”
The BNP chief also said her left foot and left hand are in a bad shape-- almost paralysed.
Dhaka, Sep 5 (UNB) - The High Court on Wednesday directed the authorities concerned to provide first-class division to photographer Shahidul Alam in jail.
A bench of Justice Borhanuddin and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman passed the order after hearing a writ petition filed by Shahidul’s lawyer Sarah Hossain.
Sara said they earlier filed the writ petition with a lower court seeking first-class division and the court ordered taking proper steps as per the jail code.
“But Shahidul was not provided with the division facility in jail despite the court order. So, we filed the writ petition again with the High Court,” Sara.
The HC ordered the Home Secretary and the Inspector General of Prison to take necessary steps in this regard.
On Tuesday, one judge of a two-member High Court bench felt embarrassed to hear a bail petition filed by Shahidul, managing director of Drik Gallery who is now in jail in a case filed under the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act.
The bench comprising Justice Md Ruhul Quddus and Justice Khandaker Dilurujjaman forwarded the petition to the Chief Justice for a decision.
Detectives arrested Shahidul Alam from his Dhanmondi residence on August 5 and the case was filed against him with Ramna Police Station on August 6. He was also placed on a seven-day remand in the case.
Police claimed that he spread propaganda through his Facebook account during the student movement demanding safe roads.
Dhaka, Sept 5 (UNB) – Security has been beefed up in and around the Old Dhaka Central Jail as the trial of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case is scheduled to be held in a makeshift court inside the jail.
“Additional police have been deployed in the area since morning over the trial along with an increased number of regular jail guards,” said Kamal Hossain, additional deputy commissioner of Chawkbazar zone.
Earlier, the government decided to hold the trial of Khaleda Zia in the case at the Old Dhaka Central Jail after setting up a makeshift court there.
Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry on Tuesday issued a gazette notification in this regard.
The notice says that the place of Special Judge Court-5 where the trial proceedings of Zia Charitable Trust case were in progress has now been shifted to the administrative building of the Central Jail in Old Dhaka for security reason.
The BNP chairperson is now at Nazimuddin Road central jail, serving five years’ rigorous imprisonment as she was convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8.
The hearing on the Zia Charitable Trust graft case was last held on February 1.
On August 8, 2011, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Charitable Trust graft case with Tejgaon Police Station accusing four people, including Khaleda Zia, of abuse of power in raising funds for the trust from unknown sources.
Dhaka, Sept 5 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said democracy is now established on a strong base in the country as her government has ensured the voting rights of people.
“We’ve ensured it (the environment) so that the people of Bangladesh can exercise their franchise freely,” she said.
The Prime Minister was addressing the oath-taking ceremony of newly elected mayors and councillors of Rajshahi and Sylhet City Corporations at her office.
Sheikh Hasina said Awami League mayoral candidate AHM Khairuzzaman Liton secured victory in Rajshahi City Corporation, while BNP’s Arifur Haque Chowdhury won Sylhet City polls. “Both were sworn in at one function,” she said.
“People in every area have attained their voting rights and can elect candidates of their choice... it’s proven today,” she said.
Noting that democracy means the voting rights of people, which is the constitutional rights, she said, “We're fully devoted to this (ensuring the voting rights). We want people to have their rights in their hands.”
The government takes actions in case of minor incidents in any place during any election, she said adding, “We want people to enjoy their basic rights and elect the candidates and their government as per their choice.”
Pointing at the newly elected mayors and councillors, Hasina said, “No matter what party you belong to, work properly for the overall development of their respective areas. It’s your duty.”
The Prime Minister assured all, irrespective of their political affiliation, of extending her all-out cooperation to them as people have elected them.
Hasina, however, said no one will be spared on political consideration in case of any irregularities and corruption, instigation to militancy and terrorism activities in any place.
Mentioning her government's plan to establish a medical university in Sylhet, she said her government never allocated budget for local bodies on political consideration.
“When we make any fund allocation or undertake any project, we don’t consider what party they belong to as we consider the welfare of people.”
Hasina said the government made huge allocations for the Sylhet City Corporation as well.
Laying emphasis on a sustainable democratic system in the country, she said a country can prosper under a democratic rule. Over the last 10 years, Bangladesh has been able to achieve a tremendous success in every sector due to uninterrupted democracy, she added.
“Today, Bangladesh is recognised as a role model of development,” she said highlighting different socioeconomic development activities taken by her government since 2009.
Hasina said the Bangladesh Delta Plan-2100 has been prepared envisaging the next hundred years’ development plan. “Bangladesh is now a developing country, and we’ve to make it sustainable to move ahead.