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EC: Law enforcement agencies not ordered to collect probable presiding officers’ information

  • Published at 07:34 pm November 18th, 2018
Election Commissioner Md Rafiqul Islam - file photo - Dhaka Tribune
File photo of Election Commissioner Md Rafiqul Islam Dhaka Tribune

The commission, however, has asked law enforcement officials not to harass any probable polling officers

The Election Commission has not given any directives to the law enforcement agencies to gather information on the probable presiding officers and assistant presiding officers for the 11th general election, which is slated for December 30.

“The commission has also given necessary directives to the agencies not to harass any of these probable polling officers in this regard,” Election Commissioner Md Rafiqul Islam told reporters at the commission office in Dhaka on Sunday.

His remarks came following allegations that officials from different law enforcement and intelligence agencies were collecting information – both personal and political affiliation – of the possible election officials in different districts.

According to some of these officials, police and detectives were gathering the information by either visiting their homes and neighbours or calling over phone.

Meanwhile, regarding BNP’s allegation that their leaders and activists were getting arrested in false and ghost cases ahead of the polls, Rafiqul said: “The commission will scrutinize the list of cases filed against BNP leaders and activists.

“The Election Commission will also give directives to police to not harass anyone in such cases. If there are such cases, it will destroy the election environment."

The reporters also asked the election commissioner about Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader’s complain regarding fugitive convict and BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman interviewing his party’s nomination-aspirants via videoconference.

In response, Rafiqul said: “If anyone submits a complaint to us with proper evidence and if the law is violated, the Election Commission will take steps against the matter.

Earlier on Sunday, BNP's parliamentary board members, whom included Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Moudud Ahmed, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Jamir Uddin Sircar, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Nazrul Islam Khan and Abdul Moyeen Khan, conducted the interviews of the party’s nomination seekers.

Tarique, who currently resides in London as a political asylee, had also joined them via videoconference in conducting the interviews at BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office.

Election Commissioner Rafiqul also said that the commission would take legal actions against nomination seekers if they do not remove by Sunday midnight the posters, banners and other materials across the country they have used for electioneering so far.

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