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Ducsu polls: Student orgs accept electoral code of conduct with few changes

  • Published at 04:42 pm January 29th, 2019
File photo of the Ducsu office building on Dhaka University campus Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh Chhatra League oppose entrance of former leaders in campaign

Recommendations placed by student organizations and platforms were similar over allowing former leaders in electioneering, but Bangladesh Chhatra League, affiliated with the ruling Awami League, opposed involvement of outsiders in Dhaka University Central Students Union (Ducsu) polls.

All the student organizations recommended formulating an electoral code of conduct, allowing unrestricted movement of journalists and installation of CCTV cameras inside polling centres.

The other demands by student bodies mainly focused on change in campaign timing, permission to campaign in classrooms and examination halls, using walls for campaign materials, limitation on expenses, prohibition on using colourful posters and lights.

On January 19, DU Vice-Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman formulated a seven-member committee, led by DU Pro-VC (Academic) Prof Nasreen Ahmad, to draw up an electoral code of conduct, ahead of the Ducsu and hall union polls.

A total of 39 sub-sections are included under 14 sections in the draft electoral code, which was issued by DU proctor AKM Golam Rabbani on January 23, and reached the fronts on January 24.

Student organizations were requested to submit recommendations on the electoral code to the proctor’s office by January 26.

January 29 has been set for finalizing the draft electoral code of conduct through a meeting of the DU Syndicate, the university's governing body, on basis of its members’ opinions.

Mixed reactions and recommendations have been seen so far from the fronts.

Chhatra League's demands

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) opposed entry of outsiders or allowing former leaders to take part in the election campaign.

Abiding by the draft copy, they demanded that loudspeakers should only be used inside the auditorium and during rallies. Walls should not be restricted for campaigning. Electioneering should be controlled centrally to maintain an amiable atmosphere on the campus.

Chhatra Dal's recommendations

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) recommended bringing polling booths under CCTV surveillance, and allowing unrestricted movement of journalists inside the booths.

Chhatra Union demands

Bangladesh Chhatra Union recommendations were similar to that of JCD.

They also demanded fixing electioneering time from 10am to 12am, removing previous wall paintings, and banning use of walls for election campaigning.

Chhatra Federation's recommendations

Chhatra Federation recommended that the authorities should give permission to hall union candidates to hold three projection meetings instead of one, and for central union candidates, five meetings instead of three.

Also, the authorities should fix the maximum number of posters that can be pasted by a candidate on walls.

Chhatra Adhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad's recommendations

Bangladesh Chhatra Adhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad, a platform that led the quota reform movement, recommended forming a five-member body, comprising teachers, to prevent any untoward situation. 

It also called for allowing journalists to broadcast election updates from inside polling booths, and ensuring uninterrupted internet connections on the campus during the polls.

The quota reformists are eager to contest the polls in all posts, in both central and hall unions.

The Ducsu elections are scheduled to be held on March 11. The previous polls were held 28 years ago on June 6, 1990.