Dhaka, Nov 18 (UNB) – Awami League on Sunday said interviewing nomination seekers by BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman through a teleconference is clear violation of the electoral laws and the directives of the ‘Supreme Court’.
An AL delegation, led by Col (retd) Muhammad Faruk Khan, MP, handed over a written complaint in this regard to EC Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed at his Nirbachan Bhaban office in the evening.
“The people of the country saw and we also listened to and watched that Tarique Rahman, a fugitive convict, interviewed his party nomination seekers through skype or teleconference or any other means, which is a clear violation of the electoral rules and the directives of our highest court,” Faruk Khan told reporters after lodging the complaint.
Earlier, he said, the ‘Supreme Court’ issued the directives that no speech of Tarique Rahman can be published anywhere.
Faruk Khan, also an AL presidium member, said, “If such violation of electoral laws continues, it’ll make the election more questionable in the days to come.”
He said they asked the EC to take immediate measures to stop the violation of such electoral rules. “The EC has told us that it’ll take measures examining their complaints,” said Faruk Khan.
Clarifying the complaint of violation of the electoral code, AL organising secretary Barrister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury Nowfel said the court order is considered as traditional laws of the country and the electoral code suggests following all the traditional laws. “So, defying the court order, they in fact breached the polls code,” he said.
Nowfel said Tarique interviewed nomination seekers through teleconference which also came in the media.
Noting that right now Tarique Rahman is a fugitive and convicted person, the AL leader said Tarique Rahman cannot join any political and electoral process.
He said there is an order of the highest court that his live streaming and broadcasting conference cannot be published or aired. “Taking any interview by a fugitive and convicted person is not only illegal, but also unethical,” Nowfel said.
He urged the media to follow the court order refraining from publishing the matter of a fugitive convicted person.
Faruk Khan said Tarique Rahman cannot be the acting chairman of BNP by changing the party charter.
He also alleged that Oikyafront, BNP and Jamaat joined the election campaign on the premises of the Supreme Court throughout the last two days. “The remarks which were made there are clear violation of electoral laws,” said the AL leader.
He hoped that the Election Commission will take necessary measures in this regard soon.
Replying to a question, Faruk Khan said the release of ‘Hasina, A Daughter’s Tale’, a 70-minute docudrama on the eldest child of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has no link with election campaign.
Dhaka, Nov 18 (UNB) – Ruling out Awami League’s objection to taking interview of its nomination seekers by Tarique Rahman through videoconferencing, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam on Sunday said the ruling party has no right to interfere in their party activities.
“I think they (AL) don’t have any jurisdiction to determine who will take interview of our party (nomination seekers),” he said while talking to reporters at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office in the afternoon.
Fakhrul alleged that the Election Commission (EC) itself is violating the electoral code of conduct. “They (EC) still couldn’t create an atmosphere for holding a fair election.”
Earlier in the morning, BNP nomination board, comprising party standing committee members, started interviewing its nomination hopefuls to finalise the candidates who will contest the 11th parliamentary elections with its tickets.
BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman joined the nomination board through videoconferencing and asked the aspirants various questions.
Reacting to it, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader drew the attention of the Election Commission, saying whether a fugitive convict in two cases can join the election procedures.
Later, Election Commissioner Rafiqul Islam said they will look into the issue if they get a complaint.
Fakhrul said the Election Commission still could not ensure a level-playing field.
He said though the media was supposed to play a neutral role, it is not happening now. “BTV is airing the development activities of the Awami League government without maintaining the neutrality. State-owned Bangladesh Betar is also doing the same thing.”
The BNP leader also alleged that the government has also kept the private TV and radio channels under pressure so that they cannot give the opposition due coverage. “The arrest and harassment of our leaders and activists hasn’t stopped.”
He said their party wants a proper election atmosphere to be created so that all parties can remain in the election race.
Fakhrul urged the Commission to take step to stop the arrest of opposition leaders and activists and filing of false cases against them.
Asked what messages they are giving to their nomination seekers during the interview, he said they are asking them to put their all efforts to ensure a fair election, check vote-rigging and capturing of voting centres.
On the first day, the party nomination board took interview of 157 candidates of 33 seats under Rangpur division and 368 candidates of 39 seats under Rajshahi division.
Dhaka, Nov 18 (UNB) – Dr Reza Kibria, son of slain finance minister and Awami League leader Shah AMS Kibria, on Sunday submitted the Gono Forum nomination form to the party chief to contest the next general election as a party candidate under the banner of Jatiya Oikyafront.
He submitted the nomination form to Gono Forum President and Oikyafront chief Dr Kamal Hossain at his Motijheel chamber.
Talking to reporters, Dr Reza said he believes Dr Kamal Hossain can build a happy and peaceful Bangladesh as dreamt by Bangabandhu.
Asked about the reason behind joining Gono Forum instead of his late father’s party, Dr Reza said like his father, he wants to work for the country instead of a party.
As his attention was drawn to the killing of his father during the regime of BNP, the major partner of the Oikyafront, he said killers have no party and he does not want to blame any party for the murder.
He deplored that his father’s killers were not punished during the two years’ rule of BNP and that of 10 years of Awami League.
Talking to UNB on Saturday, Reza said his father had dreamt of contesting polls from Habiganj-1 constituency. “I want to fulfill his dream. Besides, I want to contribute to the development of this neglected area.”
He took the final decision over contesting the polls on Friday and joined Gono Forum.
Five people, including Kibria, were killed and 70 others injured in a grenade attack on a public rally of local Awami League at Baidder Bazar in Habiganj Sadar upazila on January 27, 2005.
Dhaka, Nov 18 (UNB) – BNP on Sunday submitted a list of cases filed against its leaders and workers to Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda.
A BNP leader, Salauddin Khan, submitted the list attached with a letter signed by BNP Secretary General Fakhrul Islam Alamgir to the CEC’s office in the city’s Agargaon area in the morning.
According to the list, the total cases filed during January 2018 to November 14, 2018 is 4,429, while the total number of accused is 4,34,975 with 1,09,441 named and 3,25,534 unnamed accused. Of the accused, the number of arrestees is 10,472 ones.
Some 773 BNP leaders and workers were arrested after the Commission announced the election schedule on November 8, the letter says.
Among the cases, BNP earlier submitted two lists of some 2,048 cases to the Prime Minister’s Office on November 6 and November 13 after the two rounds of talks held between Jatiya Oikyafront and Awami League-led 14-party alliance at Ganobhaban in the city.
In the letter to the CEC, BNP said they were not informed whether the cases were withdrawn and arrested leaders and workers released after the submission of their lists of the cases to the Prime Minister.
In the letter, BNP requested the CEC to relieve its leaders and workers from the cases and immediately stop their arrest.
It further said thousands of false, fabricated, peculiar, baseless, fictitious and politically motivated cases were filed against its central unit and different grassroots units’ leaders across the country after Awami League came to power in 2009.
The letter said law enforcement agencies kept arresting BNP leaders and activists filing false and fictitious cases against them across the country since September 1 ahead of the next parliamentary polls.
Even the names of dead, ailing and maimed persons, hajj pilgrims, and persons staying abroad were accused in the fictitious cases, the letter reads further.
Dhaka, Nov 18 (UNB) – Election Commissioner Rafiqul Islam on Sunday said the Election Commission did not give any directive to law enforcement agencies to gather information of probable presiding officers and assistant presiding officers.
“However, the Commission has given necessary directives to law enforcement agencies not to harass any probable polling officers in this regard,” he said while talking to reporters at his Nirbachan Bhaban office.
Replying to a question over BNP’s list of the politically-motivated cases submitted to the EC on Sunday, Rafiqul said the Commission will scrutinise the list and then give directives to police not to harass anyone in such cases.
“If there’re such cases, it’ll destroy the polls environment,” he said over the BNP allegation of their leaders and workers being arrested in false, fabricated and fictitious cases ahead of the election.
In reply to another question over Awami League General Secretary’s allegation over BNP acting Chairman Tarique Rahman, the Election Commissioner said if anyone comes up with evidence and law permits the Commission will take steps against the BNP leader over his reported video conversation with his party’s nomination seekers.
Rafiqul Islam said the Commission will take legal actions against the people concerned if the election campaign materials are not removed by Sunday midnight.