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Army and Election December 3, 2013

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ELECTION.
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Chief Election Commissioner wanted to deploy Army long before election considering the ongoing political violence in the country that may affect the coming election. In a preparatory meeting with the law enforcing agencies, CEC wants  all the law enforcing agencies to support the election process. PSO said that Army will remain engaged in their winter exercise till the 3rd week of December 2013.

Many think that Bangladesh Army might be trying to be aloof from directly involved in the support of the government and to stand against the people.

CEC rests his hope on the next meeting with the District Commissioners on 13th instant where they might again discuss the need of Army in the pre-election phase.

An ordinary citizen

CEC Declares Election Schedule November 27, 2013

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH.
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Chief Election Commissioner declares election schedule after a day of his observation that we can wait for the opposing groups for coming to a consensus through a dialogue and set January 5 as the day of election.
BNP, the main opposition party and its 18 party alliance rejected the schedule and announced 48 hour program of nationwide barricade of all communication highways.

An ordinary citizen

Opinion:
Syed Abul Maksud in Prothom Alo
Shahdin Malik in Prothom Alo

Upazilla election-follow up January 23, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ELECTION, GOVERNANCE, local government, POLITICS.
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Nation-wide upazilla election was held yesterday but it was marred by intimidation,violence,rigging, low voter turn out and the people is gripped with a frustration over the way the election was held.

The result so far showed that out of 472 upazilla, 461 result is out , AL got 306,BNP 73, Jamaat 22, Jatiya party 13, others 47.

Chief Election Commissioner on upazilla election said that election didn’t reflect the will of the people. The pro-government element tried to influence the result by force. He also commented that the young and women showed poor turnout in the election.

But the Home Ministry claimed that the polls were peaceful across the country except a few stray incidences.

The LGRD Minister Ashraful Islam add that the few violence that have occurred wouldn’t happened if the local government election be held on party basis.

The State Minster for Home said that it is the Election Commission who were responsible for the law and order situation as all the necessary forces were deployed as required.

It is not the number of seats that AL lost, but question on the credibility of the election erodes the confidence of the people on the government to hold a free and fair election even of a local government nature.

The election will also shake the confidence of the people on the ability of the political government to hold acceptable parliamentary election in place of caretaker government system in Bangladesh.

Before taking such a move the political government must show their good intention and capability to hold a free and fair election under an independent election commission.

There is still a hope remain as the Prime Minister SK. Hasina didn’t speak out yet and we hope that she would realize the stake of the government and will give more importance to the long term need of the government than short terms.

Is AL only set for 5 year term and their vision 2021 will remain for others to materialize?

An ordinary citizen

News link:
Upazilla polls influenced
Ghosts of past return
Fear factor behind the low turnout
Minister, AL MP face jail term

Post Script:
One of the achievements of the upazilla election, as said by Chief Electon Commissioner is ‘a process has began’. We are also agreed with the idea and hope that the local government election sn the future will be more free and fair.

RPO clause 91/e, Election Commission and political parties November 24, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ELECTION, GOVERNANCE, POLITICS.
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Political parties  were against the imposition of RPO by the election commission. The RPO was revised on persistent pressure from the political parties. They were technically bound to accept the RPO by the Election Commission as a part of the registration process of the parties. Among the parties Jamaat-e-Islami was mostly  reluctant to accept the RPO but later they modified their constitution and registered with the Election Commission.

Now, the parties concentrate their attention on the clause no 91/E where the Election Commission has given the power to cancel the candidacy of a candidtae who violates the election rule or the code of conduct for the candiadte .

The political parties are afraid that the rule may be abused by the EC and may be used against the party of it’s choice. But the EC is telling that this power is vested with every election commission of the developed country including India. There is a lengthy process to file a complaint, inquiry against the candidate and lastly the full bench judgement by the election commission. CEC said that the clause will remain and they will judiciously apply the rule only when it will be of dire necessity.

Transparency International of Bangladesh expressed its opinion in favour of keeping the clause otherwise EC will not be able to take any action in case of violations of the election rules and then the election willl not be fair and free.[bdnews24.com]

An ordinary citizen

Opinion: Daily Star welcomes the EC’s sticking to the RPO restrictions [DS]

Towards a general election in Bangladesh: AL should be more liberal and confident November 22, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ELECTION, POLITICS.
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Khaleda Zia in a press conference on 19th November 2008 declared that BNP is willing to participate in the general election if the schedule in reset on 28th December 2008. She also put forward 3 point demands to fulfil. one is withdrawal of emergency from the date of nomination, cancellation of clause no RPO 91/e where Election Commission has given absolute power to cancel one’s candidacy and to defer the upazillaelection by 1 month. But in spirit she didn’t make it mandatory for the government or the election commission to accept the demands in 100% as a precondition in joining BNP in the election.

The election commission, political parties and people took the development as a positive one. CECand his team sat with the leaders of BNP yesterday and expressed hope for an election with participation of all parties.

But response from  AL towards the new development is guarded. They said that 18th December 2008 is the prime time for the general election. To delay this date means to extend the emergency, etc.

But people and all are waiting for an election where all the parties will participate  and people will be able to vote without any reservation or fear.

If the election is deferred for 10 days, there will be nothing to lose for AL, rather if she accepts it, it will be a sign of magnanimity, pragmatism and confidence on the part of AL.

An ordinary citizen

‘BNP will harm more to itself than to the country if it does not participate in the election’ November 19, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ELECTION, GOVERNANCE, POLITICS.
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The quote is from Dr. Akbar Ali Khan, an ex adviser of the past caretaker government.

The date of election remain unchanged on 18th December 2008 as the consensus couldn’t be achieved among the major political parties regarding shifting of the election date. The option of the CEC to shift the date from 18th to 28th December 2008 was not accepted. With this the ultimatum of Khaleda Zia to accept their 4 point demands is over.

AL retaliated that they are ready for election on 18th and their party is busy to select the nominations of the candidates for different constituencies. It is time to see how BNP react to the situation arises with the loss of the last hope of accepting their demands.

Khondoker Delwar Hussain, Genaral Secretary of BNP condemned the government decision to hold the election one way without taking into cognizance of the demands of BNP. He said that BNP wants to be in the election but government does not want it to be. He, however, said that BNP will seat with its alliance tomorrow and come into the decision regarding the participation in the election.

The ordinary citizen/s will be happy if BNP come to the election and participate in it with full vigour.

There are difference between 1/22 & 12/18. In 1/22 people were not ready for a general election and the situation is totally reverse now. People are ready for an election to have a leap to democracy and they are waiting how the parties behave.

It will be wise for BNP and its allies to participate in the election even though many of their demands are not fulfilled.

An ordinary citizen

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On the way to an independent Election Commission January 31, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ELECTION, GOVERNANCE.
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The government has approved a proposal of Election Commission (EC) Secretariat to free it from the control of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The proposed EC Secretariat ordinance will ensure independence of the secretariat under full control of the chief election commissioner (CEC), chief adviser’s Press Secretary Syed Fahim Munaim told reporters after the meeting.Fahim said the approved ordinance was sent to the law ministry for final vetting before the president can promulgate them into laws.

According to the approved EC Secretariat ordinance proposal, the secretariat will be considered as a division according to the Rules of Business under the control of the EC. It will also have its own budget as per its request and will be responsible for the appointment of its secretary and other staff.

The demand for separation of the EC Secretariat from the control of PMO always figured prominently in the proposals placed at different times by former election commissioners, civil society groups and political parties. The EC had faced difficulties in conducting polls because of interference from the executive. The EC secretary often seemed to be working against the commission and only those who would serve best the interests of the ruling party or alliance were appointed to the commission’s posts.

With a view to breaking free from the PMO grip, the current EC came up with a number of proposals on June 7 last year.

The advisory council had approved the proposals in principle on June 23 and asked the law ministry to draft an ordinance.[Abridged from Daily Star, 30 Jan 2008]

The Chief Election Commissioner when asked by the journalist said ‘It is a step towards fulfillment of our demand of an independent EC. We have submitted our proposals earlier. There are still more demands to be fulfilled’. [ATN]

An ordinary citizen

Post script: 31 Jan 2008

Only 3 out of 7 proposals forwarded by the EC were considered for the upcoming ordinance. The 4 left over proposals include a) power of the EC to frame regulations for carrying out its own functions b) to appoint EC Secretary and other executives on the requirement of the Commission c) to keep the secretariat accountable to the Commission d) to keep the power to control the manpower and to make structural change in the hands of the president.

CEC hope to discuss the matter with the Chief Adviser before the proposed ordinance is sent to the President.

Link : Prothom Alo Report
Prothom Alo Editorial

Democracy in the constitution is a must for registration of the political parties November 28, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ELECTION, POLITICS.
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[News and reactions] Democracy is a must for registration of the political parties with the election commission. This opinion has been expressed by CEC Shamsul Huda Chy in a meeting of the Election Commission with the workers party.

He said that BNP and many other parties have no democratic rules in the party constitution and party chief has been given absolute authority to take any decision.

He commented that political parties preach for democracy but they do not practice it in their own party.

It is alleged that though the constitution of AL is more democratic in writing but in practice the authority is delegated to the chairperson to take the final decision.

Financial irregularities is also alleged against the parties as their is no clear bookkeeping, transparency and accountability for the fund.

The Election Commission is thinking of ensuring practice of democracy in the party through registering them with it. It proposes that the executive committee members will be chosen on the basis of election by the party members.

CEC said they will examine the constitution of each party before registering it.(Source: Daily Star)

Delwar Hussain, Khaleda made General Secretary of BNP said today that EC cannot dictate the constitution of a political party (ATN).

An ordinary citizen

Links:

1) NY Times on Bangladesh

2) How to achieve economic recovery