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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.

Complexity developing over registration of political parties October 1, 2008

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BNP turns it back from registering itself with the Election Commission and 4 party alliance with jamaat-e- Islami put forward 5 conditions to fulfil before the registration.
The conditions are:
1. Withdrawal of the state of emergency
2. Scrapping of the PRO(amendment) 2008
3. Holding of the upazilla eletions after a reasonable interval of the national polls
4. Withdrawal of GATCO, NIKO and Barapukuria corruption cases and other false cases against alliance leaders
5. Release of all political leaders, activists and general people detained without specific charges before the Eid-ul-Fitr and withdrawal of all false cases against them.

The alliance also declared October 12 to observe demand day throughout the country. October 15 is the last day for the registration of the political parties.

The complexity started with the refusal of Jammat e Islami to comply with the registration process as some of the conditions directly contradict with it’s constitution and party fundamentals.

CEC in a press briefing also rebuked the position of the Jamaat few days back but he didn’t foresee the gravity of the situation then.

CEC told yesterday that EC has nothing to do with the BNP’s 5 point demand.

In the meantime,AL also raises demand to release Hasina fully and threatens to start movement.

The total situation is becoming complex and the hope that was created earlier by the declaration of general election is now mixed up with uncertainty.

It is important as how the government and political parties behave in the coming days that will determine the future of democracy in this country.

An ordinary citizen

Post script:
4-party tags RPO scrapping with registration[DS]
Alliance decision is a setback-editorial [DS]
Back to square 2 -Mijanur Rahman Shelly, a social scientist[DS]

Chief Adviser declared the general election in Bangladesh September 21, 2008

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Chief Adviser of the Caretaker Government in Bangladesh declared the date of the parlimentary election in a televised address to be held on 18th December 2008. He at the same time declared the upazilla election dates to be held on 24th and 28th December 2008. The declaration was made as proposed by the Election Commission.

With the declaration of the date, CA has advanced along the roadmap to fulfil their committment to hold a general election by December 2008.

People has speculation about the upazilla election as how the EC accomodate their stand to hold the upazilla in the face of continued opposition of the political parties not to hold upazilla election before the general election. Initially EC had the intention to hold the Upazilla election in October but now they have shifted the date to honour the intention of the major poltical parties not to hold upazilla election before the general election. Major political parties urged earlier to hold the upazilla election along with or after the general election.

CA in his speech expressed the hope that all will cooperate to hold a free and fair election and through this elections Bangladesh will able to emerge on stronger democratic base.

An ordinary citizen

Address of the chief adviser [DS] [PA]
News on address[DS][PA]

Election Commission in Bangladesh: from command to compromise? September 19, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ELECTION, GOVERNANCE, local government, POLITICS.
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The Election Commission will sit tomorrow with BNP and its two allies-Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Oikko Jote. Both the allies of BNP had refused earlier to sit with the Election Commission and missed their date though they sat with the EC in its first dialogue with the politicalparties. CEC then said that EC will not call the two parties in future for dialogue. BNP led by Khonodker Delwar refused to sit with EC from the beginning until Khlada Zia is freed.

After the release of Khaleda, BNP agreed to sit with the EC but along with the other components of alliance. In the changed scenario, EC accepted the proposal but arranges separate sittings for the three parties.

The changed scenario also compel CEC to seek apology for not to ask Khondoker Delwar earlier for dialogue.

EC was supposed to declare the upazilla election by this time. But it delays its decision to talk with BNP and then to declare the date of both upazilla and general election.

But does EC expect BNP and its allies to agree to upazilla election before the General Election. AL already told that they will not participate in any election before General Election.

Will EC agree with the opinion of the leaders of the political parties and deviate from its declared policy? The recent political moves of the Caretaker Government has made the EC a tamed horse and a compromise on the upazilla election will be likely if BNP says so though CEC once said that people and party workers at the grassroots level wants the upazilla election. Now, the people are pushed to the sidelines to the greater interest of the parties.

Only an extraordinary vision from the top brasses of both AL and BNP could give our democracy a good lift if upazilla election is agreed to be held, if not before, atleast on the same date of the General Election.

But will that happen? The chance is very low.
Let us wait and see what is there in the daylight after few hours.

Regarding the registration of the political parties, CEC said without ambiguity that registration is a must without which it will be impossible for the election commission to conduct the election and after trimming down the conditions, the conditions of registration has come to the bare minimum.

Will the parties accept the last minimum conditions of the registrations or force the Election Commission to agree to their conditions? And will the EC compromise on all their conditions on the plea to ensure an election ‘participated by all’ to make it ‘free and fair’.

An ordinary citizen

Parallel observations:

‘Is Government running after mirage’ Dr. Zillur Rahman Siddiqui, Ex-VC , JU [Prothom Alo, 19 September 2008]
‘Upazilla Election is a necessity’ Dr. Shahdin Malik, Advocate, Supreme Court [Prothom Alo, 18 September, 2008]

Why AL is against Upazilla election though there is chance of winning? August 22, 2008

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Both the election commission and the government are willing to hold the upazilla election in October 2008 before the national election.
But major political parties -AL and BNP are against the October elections. Their leaders in different forums repeatedly voiced their concern against the election and said that they will in no way participate in the upazilla election and if needed they threatened to launch movement against the government.

But the government seems to pay little heed to the demand of the AL and BNP. Government is already started to transfer the government officials at the district and upazilla level on the request of election commission. The move is a part of preparation of holding upazilla election.
In a reply to the query of the journalists, the LGRD adviser said that people and party leaders at the grassroots level expressed their willingness to have the upazilla election in October under this government. So, government will respond to their appeal.

But though AL made sweeping victory in the in the last August city corporation and municipalities election,why it is against the upazilla election? There is no loss in winning and the state of BNP is still so much disorganized that they would hardly in a position to compete with AL. They will be in trouble if fixing their their strategy in the same way as that of last August election. Jamaat-e-Islami, their closest associate, y will pull them back to stay out of upazilla election as before. In this context, I though by myself , what could be reasons for AL not participating in the upazilla election??

One reason is to be clear, it is AL central leaders, not the grassroots level leaders and workers, who are against the upazilla elections. As the media always resounds the words and phrases of the top leaders, it seams that AL as a party is against the election. But why the top leaders are against where the workers and local leaders are in favour? The reason may be that the leaders in the center may loss their hold on upazillas physically and financially once upazilla chairmans are elected on popular vote. The Top leaders will be left out only to be members of parliament who will have authority only on law-making and no executive power in the locality.

Though the leaders are not liking the idea, but common people and many party activists prefer the change in the situation so far practiced.

An ordinary citizen