• Monday, Mar 27, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:24 am

Mirza Fakhrul: Election participation depends on EC, poll-time government

  • Published at 10:18 am November 14th, 2018
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, right, speaks at the meeting between Jatiya Oikya Front and the Election Commission at the Election Commission Secretariat in Dhaka on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 Dhaka Tribune

Jatiya Oikya Front leaders met with the Election Commission at the Election Commission Secretariat on Wednesday

Opposition parties’ participation in the upcoming general election depends on the conduct of the Election Commission and the poll-time government, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said on Wednesday. 

He made the comment in response to a query during a press briefing following the meeting between the Jatiya Oikya Front leaders and the Election Commission. 

Speaking at the briefing, Oikya Front leader Dr Kamal Hossain said the Election Commission listened to what they had to say, and said they would consider the Oikya Front’s demands and concerns.

When asked if he thought the opposition parties would be able to contest the polls, Fakhrul said it did not look good to him. 

“It’s frustrating. BNP activists were attacked by police in front of the office today. This does not bode well for a free and fair election,” he added. 

Earlier in the day, BNP leaders and activists clashed with police in front of the party’s Naya Paltan office. Police vehicles were also set on fire during the clash.

At the meeting with the Election Commission, the Oikya Front demanded that the election be postponed for three more weeks – which Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda said the commission would consider, and let the coalition know of their decision later, Fakhrul told reporters. 

In response to the Oikya Front’s staunch opposition of EVM use in the election, the Election Commission reiterated that they were planning to use them only in city areas, on a limited scale, Fakhrul further said.

“However, if we can convince them that using EVMs may create problems in the election, the commission said they will consider not using EVMs,” the BNP leader said. 

In response to Oikya Front’s demand for army deployment, the CEC said it had already been decided that army would be deployed as striking force during the polls. However, the Election Commission may consider if the army could be deployed in the polling centres as well.

The commission is still against letting the media outlets to telecast the voting live, but will allow them to take photos and record videos, Fakhrul said. 

“However, we demanded that live telecast of the vote-casting is allowed in order to ensure a free and fair election.”

He said the Election Commission listened to Oikya Front’s demands attentively. 

“But they have done the same before, and then went ahead and did what they wished,” Fakhrul said, adding that their conduct would now be observed by the people of the country. 

“If the Election Commission fulfils its duties and responsibilities properly in accordance with the constitution, a fair and free election is possible,” he added. 

“We also informed the commission that we had learnt from several news media that the government was making a list of returning officers according to their political background. They said they were aware of allegations against a number of returning officers, and were looking into them,” Fakhrul said.  

On the issue of “politically motivated cases” against the opposition parties, Fakhrul said the Election Commission’s response was positive, and they said they would look into the matter, asking Oikya Front for a list of such cases. 

“We also demanded security for our polling agents in the polling centres, to which they said they would do so,” he added. 

The two-hour meeting took place on Wednesday afternoon at the Election Commission Secretariat in Agargaon, Dhaka. 

Jatiya Oikya Front leader Dr Kamal Hossain, Habibur Rahman, Secretary General of BNP Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Gonoshasthaya Kendra trustee board member Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, Gono Forum Executive President Subrata Chowdhury and General Secretary Mostafa Mohsin Mintu and Gono Forum presidium member Mokabbir Khan, BNP Standing Committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and Moudud Ahmed, former DUCSU VP Sultan Mohammad Mansur, JSD General Secretary Abdul Malek Ratan, Krishak Sramik Janata League (KSJL) President Abdul Kader Siddique, Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, SM Akram, and Shahid Uddin Mahmud Swapan were present at the meeting, among others.

The entire commission, except for Election Commissioner Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury, was present at the meeting on the other side.

Can the election be rescheduled again?

Earlier on Tuesday, CEC Nurul Huda said there was no possibility of deferring the general election date again.

“There is no possibility of deferring the election schedule after December 30. We have completed all preparations,” he said while briefing returning officers in Dhaka.

The CEC explained that parliament would have to sit on January 29 next year. 

“So there is not enough time. We will need to publish gazettes for all 300 constituencies after the polls,” he said. “It will take time.”

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail