The incumbent Members of Parliament who want to run as independent candidates do not need to resign from their positions, the Election Commission (EC) said on Wednesday. Nomination submission deadline looms at EC The EC clarified the issue in a press release on Wednesday after Election Commissioner Rashida Sultana said current MPs who want to run as independent candidates must step down from their current positions - a statement that created confusion in political arena. Now CEC says election can be rescheduled if BNP decides to join Independent candidates must submit their nomination papers along with a list of signatures from 1% of the total voters in their constituencies, said the release. However, if they have been a Member of Parliament before, they do not need to submit this list, said the release. 7 inc. Law Minister seek AL nomination from Brahmanbaria-4 constituency
Though most of the party’s central leaders have apparently gone into hiding amid a crackdown following the October 28 violence, BNP leaders may take to the streets again after the announcement of the schedule for the next polls to intensify the ongoing movement. Talking to UNB, some senior BNP leaders said they have already prepared a strategy to carry out a non-stop movement with harsher programmes like hartal, blockade and laying siege to the Election Commission and different government offices to halt any lopsided election. They said their party also took the opinions of the like-mined parties about what to do if the election schedule is announced and most parties suggested enforcing blockade or hartal without any pause. As per their strategy, the BNP leaders said soon after the announcement of the schedule for the next election, the opposition parties will first give a 48-hour ultimatum to the Election Commission (EC) to cancel the schedule and create a proper atmosphere for a participatory election under a neutral administration. Read more: Fire Service records 9 arson attacks in the country in 10 hrs If the EC pays heed to their ultimatum, they will then try to show their strength on the streets across the country with their action programmes. According to Article 126 of the Constitution, it shall be the duty of all executive authorities to assist the Election Commission to discharge its duties. The BNP leaders said they would closely observe how the EC exerts the powers enshrined by the constitution to take control over the state apparatus, including the law enforcement agencies. They said they would also observe the role of the EC in stopping the mass arrest of opposition leaders and activists and releasing the arrested party senior leaders and workers. BNP claimed over 10,770 opposition leaders and followers were arrested centring BNP’s Oct 28 grand rally and subsequent hartal and blockade programmes. BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, standing committee members Mirza Abbas, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, vice-chairman Barrister Shahjahan Oma, Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, Shamsuzzaman Dudu, chairperson’s adviser Amanullah Aman, and joint secretaries general Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal and Kahirul Kabir Khokon were arrested following the party’s grand rally and violence. Read more: Chinese envoy’s remark on polls doesn’t reflect people’s aspirations: BNP Among the 19 members of the BNP standing committee, Jamiruddin Sircar, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, Begum Selima Rahman now remained active in politics. However, they are now staying in safer places secretly to avoid arrest. Three standing committee members including Salahuddin Ahmed and Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku have been staying abroad. The other party policymakers either died or remained inactive due to physical illness. The other active members of the BNP executive committee, including the vice chairmen, joint secretaries general and organising secretaries are also on the run and guiding the party leaders and workers from hideouts. A party standing committee member, wishing anonymity, said they will come out of their secret places once the polls schedule is announced to boost the morale of party workers to strengthen the movement. He said they have a plan to isolate Dhaka from the rest of the country by making the blockade programme more effective through increasing picketing on highways and roads at the district level. “Our party won’t participate in the parliamentary election under the current government. So, after the announcement of the schedule, our all leaders will come out on the streets and join the movement,” the BNP leader said. “After the announcement of the polls schedule, all the state machinery, including the law enforcers, will be under the control of the commission. So, the Election Commission’s role will be more questionable, if the arrest of BNP leaders and workers continues even after the polls schedule announcement. Besides, questions will be raised in the country and abroad about the sincerity of the Election Commission in conducting fair, free and impartial elections,” he said. BNP standing committee member Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan said the government may think BNP will be weakened if the election schedule is announced. “But it won’t happen. We have seen examples of cancellations of elections after the announcement of the schedule. “BNP will deal with all situations staying on the streets. People won’t this time allow the government to stage a drama in the name of election.” Another BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan said BNP's movement for the restoration of democracy and voting rights will not fail this time. “If the schedule is announced, we will have no choice but to continue the movement. We’ll force the government to meet our demands through a fierce mass movement.” BNP Standing Committee member Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku said their party will not retreat from the movement under any circumstance. "If a one-sided schedule is announced ignoring the opinion of the opposition parties, it will prove that the government and the Election Commission are not serious about a fair and acceptable election," he said. Read more: 152 BGB platoons deployed across the country amid BNP-Jamaat's latest blockade
Election Commission (EC) today (November 04, 2023) started discussion with all registered political parties to inform them about preparations for the 12th parliamentary election. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal is presiding over the discussion at the Election Commission building in Dhaka’s Agargaon. Thirteen registered parties have joined the discussion while three are not joining. Meanwhile, three parties did not inform the commission whether they will join or not. Ganatantri Party was not invited to the discussion. The EC has scheduled two dialogue sessions daily. The first one began at 10:30 am today which will end at 1 pm, and another will be held from 3 pm to 4:30 pm. The day-long discussion with the political parties is being held in two phases.The Election Commission invited the presidents and general secretaries of the parties or two representatives appointed by them for the dialogue. Read: Elections can't be stopped by arson: Salman F Rahman BNP and several of its allies, including the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Biplobi Workers Party, Bangladesh Kallyan Party, and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD), have decided not to participate in the Election Commission dialogue. The Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), which is not in any alliance, is also boycotting the EC dialogue. Islamic Andolan Bangladesh, Khelafat Majlis, and Bangladesh Khelafat Majlis are among the Islamic parties that are boycotting the dialogue. Awami League Presidium Member Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan and Information and Research Secretary Salim Mahmud are representing the party in the dialogue, said the party's Office Secretary Biplab Barua. Read: Now 11.96 crore voters in Bangladesh: EC According to the constitution, parliamentary election must be held within 90 days before the end of the five-year term of parliament. The term of the current parliament ends on January 29, 2024 while the 90-day count starts from November 1, 2023. The Election Commission said that it is preparing to announce the schedule of the national election in mid-November and hold the election in January. Earlier in July 2022, the EC held a dialogue with the political parties to prepare the action plan for the 12th national election while few political parties including Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) did not attend the dialogue. Read more: EC going to stage mockery in the name of dialogue at govt’s behest: BNP
EC has to hold election on time, no matter what the situation is: CEC says after meeting US ambassador
The Election Commission has no option except holding election on time as per the constitution, Chief election commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal said today (October 31, 2023). “The EC has to hold the election on time, no matter what the situation is,” the CEC told journalists after his meeting with US Ambassador Peter Haas earlier today. Read: Haas meets CEC, hopes all sides will engage in dialogue without preconditions The CEC said the issue of favorable election environment and preparations for the upcoming national election were discussed during the meeting with the US ambassador. “We want all political parties to participate in the election. This, however, does not mean that the election will not be held if the environment is not favorable,” the CEC said. “Political parties have many options. They can either participate in or boycott the election, but the Election Commission does not have any such option,” he added. Read: CEC to meet president on Nov 5 regarding announcement of nat’l election schedule The CEC said, the US ambassador hoped for dialogue among the political parties. “We expressed the the same,” the CEC said. Problems will not be solved by demonstration of force on the streets. “He (US Ambassador Peter Haas) also believes that the problems should be solved through dialogue,” the Chief Election Commissioner said.
The Chief Election Commission of Bangladesh will meet with President Mohammed Shahabuddin on November 5 regarding the announcement of the election schedule, according to Bangabhaban. The Election Commission (EC) sought a meeting with the president to discuss the 12th national parliament election yesterday. The commission led by Kazi Habibul Awal wanted to hold this meeting between November 1 and 5. Read more: No election without caretaker govt: Acting Ameer of Jamaat The Election Commission said it will hold a meeting after the meeting with the president. The schedule of the 12th national election may be finalized at that meeting. Returning officers may be appointed then. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal will then announce the schedule of the general election through an address to the nation on Bangladesh Television. A meeting with the president before announcing the schedule for national election is a long-time practice. Read more: If BNP genuinely wanted elections, they wouldn’t have resorted to acts of terrorism: Quader
An International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI) joint delegation has said the upcoming national election in Bangladesh is a litmus test for democracy in the country. “We feel the primary problem is lack of constructive engagement among key political actors,” said Karl F. Inderfurth (NDI Co-Chair) in a statement published today (October 15, 2023). “The best way to end the stalemate is through good faith dialogue, in the run-up to the January 2024 elections and beyond.” Also read: 'BNP kept no scope for compromise': Obaidul Quader to US delegation From October 8 to 11, 2023, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) deployed a bipartisan, international delegation to provide an independent and impartial assessment of electoral preparations ahead of Bangladesh's upcoming 12th parliamentary election; examine factors that could affect the integrity and viability of the electoral process; and offer recommendations that could help improve the prospects for inclusive, transparent, and peaceful elections and public confidence in the process. Bangladesh’s robust economic growth and strong tradition of democratic values have set a strong foundation for the country to achieve its 2041 vision of becoming a developed country, the delegation said. However, they said, the current political environment presents several challenges to electoral integrity, including uncompromising and zero-sum politics, highly charged rhetoric, political violence, a widespread climate of uncertainty and fear, contracting civic space and freedom of expression, and a trust deficit among citizens, political leaders, and other stakeholders. Also read: Credible polls not possible under current regime, BNP tells US pre-election assessment team Women, youth, and other marginalized groups also face significant barriers to participation. Bangladesh is at a crossroads and the upcoming elections provide a litmus test for the country’s commitment to a democratic, participatory, and competitive political process. The delegation offered the recommendations below as a roadmap for progress toward credible, inclusive, participatory, and nonviolent elections that can advance Bangladesh’s democracy. They are outlined as · Moderate rhetoric and engage in open and substantive dialogue on key election issues. · Protect freedom of expression and ensure an open civic space where dissent is respected. · Commit to nonviolence and hold perpetrators of political violence accountable. · Create conditions to allow all parties to engage in meaningful political competition, including bolstering independent election management. · Promote a culture of inclusive and active electoral participation among citizens. To develop these recommendations, the delegation met with government officials; the Bangladesh Election Commission; party leaders from across the political spectrum; civil society representatives; current and former women members of parliament; representatives of organizations engaging with youth, persons with disabilities and religious minorities; media representatives; members of the legal community; and representatives of the international and diplomatic communities. Also read: PM Hasina vows to uphold democracy “We appreciate all those who shared their views freely about the challenges and opportunities that exist in Bangladesh for holding inclusive, participatory, and nonviolent elections,” said Bonnie Glick (IRI Co-Chair).. “We came away from these conversations with concerns about the election environment, but hopeful that our recommendations can help to improve the process.” The delegation recognized that it is the people of Bangladesh who will ultimately determine the credibility and legitimacy of their elections and their country’s democratic development. The delegation therefore offered this pre-election statement in the spirit of supporting and strengthening democratic institutions in Bangladesh. Also read: US mission’s focus on free, fair, participatory polls: CEC Members of the joint delegation included Bonnie Glick (IRI Co-Chair), Former Deputy USAID Administrator; Karl F. Inderfurth (NDI Co-Chair), Former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs; Maria Chin Abdullah, Former Member of the House of Representatives, Malaysia; Jamil Jaffer, Former Associate Counsel to the President of the United States; Johanna Kao, IRI Senior Director, Asia-Pacific Division; and Manpreet Singh Anand, NDI Regional Director, Asia-Pacific. The delegates were joined by technical and country experts from NDI and IRI.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal will hold a meeting with a Facebook delegation on Thursday (August 3, 2023), on preventing propaganda on social media. The meeting will be held at Election Commission building in Dhaka’s Agargaon at 11 am tomorrow. Read: Dialogue among political parties needed to resolve crisis: CEC tells US Ambassador When contacted, Election Commission (EC) Additional Secretary Ashok Kumar Debnath said, the Facebook delegation sought time for the meeting. Asked about the reason behind the meeting, he said, “The national election is approaching. With that in mind, there can be a discussion on how to prevent propaganda on social media.” Read: US to send pre-election assessment and monitoring team in early Oct: Peter Haas Three officials from Facebook's Singapore office will meet the CEC. The delegation will be led by head of public policy for Bangladesh at Facebook's parent company Meta, Ruzan Sarwar, the EC official said.
Awami League's income last year decreased compared to that of 2021, according to the party's annual financial report for 2022. Awami League on Monday submitted its annual audit report to the Election Commission. As per the statement, the party's total income was around Tk 10.71 crore while expenditure amounted to TK 7.87 crore in 2022. The party’s income in 2021 was Tk 21.23 crore, which was Tk 10.33 crore in 2020. Awami League today showed its total funds at Tk 73.35 crore so far, while it earned Tk 2.85 crore in 2022. The main sources of the income were the sale of nomination forms, fees and donations from party members while the main sources of expenditure were salaries and bonuses for employees, the arrangement of seminars, and utility bills. Awami League candidate Mohammad Ali Arafat wins Dhaka-17 by-polls The Election Commission recently sent letters to registered political parties, asking them to submit their annual audit reports. According to the Representation of the People Order, political parties must submit their audit reports by July 31 for the previous year. Ground for grand rally of Awami League's associate organisations is being ready If a party does not submit their annual return for three consecutive years, the Election Commission may cancel its registration, it also said. Awami League’s deputy office secretary Biplob Barua and the election committee of the party submitted the audit report to the EC for the year 2022. Won’t join any election again under Awami League govt: Hero Alam
BNP on Sunday submitted its annual financial statement to the Election Commission (EC) for the 2022 calendar year, showing a fund of Tk 2,03,70,829 crore in reserve. A BNP delegation, led by its Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, handed over the financial report to Election Commission Secretary Md Jahangir Alam at Nirbachon Bhaban in the city. The delegation also included party chairperson’s adviser Abul Khair Bhuiyan, international affairs secretary Nasiruddin Awsim, Dhaka district BNP president Khandakar Abu Ashfaq, assistant office secretaries Monir Hossain and Abdus Sattar Patwari. 11 cases filed against 549 BNP leaders, activists in Dhaka over Saturday’s clashes According to the report, BNP earned Tk 5,92,04,632 and spent Tk 3,88,33,803 in 2022.The party’s both income and expenditure marked a significant increase last year. In the 2021 calendar year, the party showed Tk 84, 12, 944 as income against its expenditure of Tk 1,98,47,171. Talking to reporters, Rizvi said they submitted the audit report to the EC as per routine work.He said the major sources of BNP’s income had the party members’ subscriptions, donations and the interests of the money deposited with banks. BNP's ‘arson terrorism’ must be stopped: Information Minister The BNP leader said the salaries and festival bonuses of employees of their office, political programmes, poster printing, and distribution of relief materials and financial assistance to repressed party leaders and activists were the main heads of expenditures. AL, agencies torched vehicles to blame BNP: Fakhrul As per the law, each registered political party is obliged to submit its financial statement of the previous calendar year by each July 31.
Youtuber Ashraful Hossain Alom, popularly known as Hero Alom, filed a petition to the Election Commission demanding re-election to Dhaka-17 constituency. “There was vote rigging in the by-election and I have video footages of vote rigging. I will see the end of the election,” he said while talking to reporters after submitting his application to the Election Commission office at Agargaon. Awami League nominated candidate Mohammad Ali Arafat won the Dhaka-17 by election bagging 28,816 votes while Hero Alom got 5,609 votes. EC wants to form judicial inquiry committee to investigate attack on Hero Alam Hero Alom also requested the speaker of the parliament not to administer the oath of Arafat as a lawmaker. Replying to a question about what will he do if the appeal is rejected at the EC, Hero Alom said, “As I have the evidence of vote rigging and irregularities in by-election, I will go to the High Court and I will see the end of it.” Won’t join any election again under Awami League govt: Hero Alam In the petition, Hero Alom wrote, “I have contested the Dhaka-17 by-election on July 17 with Ektara election symbol. On the election day, I informed the Election Commission through e-mail that 88 of my agents were driven out of 19 polling stations within one hour of the election. There were vote rigging and irregularities.” “At 3 pm, the cadres of ruling party Awami League physically assaulted me intentionally when I went to Banani Bidyaniketan polling station to observe the voting situation. People at home and abroad saw the attack through the electronic media. Besides, the officials concerned started vote counting after driving out my agents from different polling stations, which was contradictory to the electoral code of conduct,” he said. Assault on Hero Alam: Foreign missions in Dhaka call for investigation, accountability of perpetrators He also demanded cancellation of the election results, re-election to Dhaka-17 constituency and proper action against his rival candidate’s men for violating the electoral code of conduct.