Chief Elecion Commission (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal on Wednesday said that BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia must fit into the legal framework if she wants to participate in the next national election. Awal made the comments in response to questions from journalists on whether Khaleda, who has been convicted of corruption, can take part in the next polls due either in December next year or in January 2024. Read more: Govt won’t send Khaleda back to jail before election: Law Minister When asked about the CEC's opinion on Khaleda Zia's participation in the election, he said, “We have some legal framework.” "What will be the position from that side, we don't know yet. We do not want to comment on this," he added. Asked what will happen if she submits the nomination papers, the CEC said that it will be verified according to the law. She filed nomination papers in the 11th National election too but it was rejected. When the matter was brought up by the journalists, the CEC said, "We have said that we will check it legally. If it is at all necessary, we will conduct legal investigations." Read more: Law to determine Khaleda Zia’s election eligibility: Law Minister In 2018 general election Khaleda filed nomination papers to contest from Feni-1, Bogra-6 and 7 constituencies. The returning officers rejected the nomination papers citing her conviction in graft cases. Later, when an appeal was made against the decision of the returning officers, it was also rejected by the then KM Nurul Huda-led Commission.
Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal said on Wednesday said that the Election Commission has not taken any decision yet about the suspended Gaibandha-5 by-election. "It is true that we have received the investigation report on the irregularities took place during the polls but we are yet to take any decision. We could not sit in a meeting. You will be informed about the investigation report in due time,” he said. Read more: EC doing its job, not under any pressure: CEC He said in a briefing during the monitoring of the election to local government bodies in different areas from Election Commission headquarters. The probe committee submitted its report on Sunday. Election Commission's Additional Secretary Ashok Kumar Debnath who headed the committee submitted the report to EC Secretary Humayun Kabir Khandaker. But the CEC did not share the details of the report in the briefing. The EC suspended the election because of “widespread malpractices” on the election day on October 12. It also extended the deadline for holding any fresh election to the Gaibandha-5 parliamentary seat by three months, or till January 20, 2023. Read more: Gaibandha-5 polls: Not a reckless decision, says CEC While there was no concrete decision over if a new election will be held, pending an investigation into malpractices on the election day, the Election Commission said that the deadline has been extended to follow the rule of 90 days in holding an election after a seat falls vacant. Following the death of Gaibandha-5 lawmaker and Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Fazle Rabbi Miah on July 22, 2022, it became a constitutional obligation to hold election for the parliamentary seat by October 20, 2022.
Bangladesh Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has said that government has no connection with arrest warrants issued for BNP’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman and his wife Dr. Zubaida Rahman. “Blaming the government for anything and everything is a regular practice and culture of BNP. The court issued arrest warrants for Tarique and Zubaida in a corruption case filed by the ACC. This is a legal process; the government didn’t interfere,” he said, He came up with the remarks at a press briefing at Setu Bhaban in Dhaka on Wednesday, a day after BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir alleged that the arrest warrants were issued as part of the government’s “political vengeance”. Read: Arrest warrants issued for Tarique and Zubaida Rahman in corruption case Speaking at a press conference at the BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office, he also said the government has been using “false” cases as a political weapon to suppress the opposition, and creating a ground for depoliticization in the country. Quader said that the ACC is also filing cases against many from the ruling party and investigation is on against some of them, as the ACC is playing an independent role in this regard. In response to the BNP secretary general’s statement that the government is “nervous” about the Zia family, Quader said that everyone knows the history of misrule and corruption of Zia family. Read: Graft case against Tarique, Zubaida: HC asks trial court to dispose of case soon “A BNP leader is now in exile for corruption, looting and misdeeds. He doesn’t have the courage to come back to the country,” Quader said. Bangladesh Awami League does not believe in politics of revenge but BNP is the originator of the trend, he said, and cited August 15 massacre and grenade attack as examples.
The Election Commission is conducting election on Wednesday in local government bodies to elect representatives in upazilas, municipalities and union parishads across the country. The polling started at 8 am and will continue till 4:00 pm. EC Joint Secretary and spokesman SM Asaduzzaman said police and other security people have been deployed to conduct the elections peacefully. Unauthorised vehicular movement has been closed in the respective areas, he added. Read: ‘BNP will swallow the entire country if it returns to power’ Elections are taking place in four municipalities of the country while CCTV cameras are being used only in these municipalities. These are- Fatikcchari Municipality of Fatikcchari Upazila of Chattogram, Hazrabari Municipality of Hazrabari Upazila of Jamalpur, Parvatipur Municipality of Parvatipur Upazila of Dinajpur and Vishwanath Municipality of Vishwanath Upazila of Sylhet. EC is also conducting voting in three upazilas - Karnaphuli of Chattogram, Jagannathpur of Sunamganj and Osmaninagar of Sylhet. Besides, by-election polling is being held for the post of Chairman of Netrakona Sadar, Roumari and Chilmari of Kurigram and Khoksa Upazila of Kushtia. The by-election to Khoksa Upazila Parishad of Kushtia started amid clashes between supporters of the rival candidates. Read: AL expects huge turnout in Saturday Dhaka district council in capital city As soon as the voting started at 8:00 am, the fight broke out at Kadirpur Government Primary School voting centre between supporters of the Awami League-backed candidate Babul Akhter and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) leader Motahar Hossain Khokon. The EC is taking votes in many Union Parishads (UP). The UPs are Baratara and Tulsi Ganga in Khototal Upazila of Joypurhat; Ziarthi and Kanchanpur of Kushtia Sadar, Chithlia and Dhubail of Mirpur; Adra and Phulmocha of Melandah in Jamalpur Upazila; Raipara, Mahmudpur and Sutarpara of Dohar Upazila of Dhaka; Perli and Panchgram of Kalia Upazila of Narail; West Jaflong, Goainghat, East Jaflong and Madhya Jaflong of Goainghat Upazila of Sylhet; Kharera of Kasba upazila of Brahmanbaria and Durlabpur of Shibganj upazila of Chapainawabganj. Read: Govt to support Election Commission in holding fair election: Law Minister The other unions are - Borobari of Lalmonirhat Sadar, Ashikpur of Shajahanpur in Bogra, Arabpur of Jessore Sadar,Rakhalgachi of Bagherhat Sadar and Udaipur of Mollarhat, Barakpur of Dighaliya Upazila of Khulna, Amragachia of Mirzaganj in Patuakhali, Nagda Shimla of Gopalpur in Tangail, Naikpur in Madan of Netrakona, Sutalri in Harirampur in Manikganj, Mohichail in Chandina upazila of Comilla and Hossaindi of Ghazaria Upazilla in Munshiganj. The EC is conducting by-elections for a total of 60 member posts under 58 Union Parishads in 52 upazilas of 36 districts.
Law Minister Anisul Huq on Tuesday said the government will provide all necessary support to the Election Commission (EC) in holding a free and fair election. “I have clearly said that the Bangladesh government enacted a law for the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioners. The responsibility of the Election Commission is to conduct fair elections and the government will provide all necessary assistance,” he said. Read more: BNP MPs ready to resign; Govt must go for credible election: Fakhrul The minister said this replying to questions from journalists after a meeting with Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Lilly Nicholls. The envoy paid a call on the minister at the Secretariat today. The Hasina-led government is committed to holding fair elections, Anisul added. It is up to EC whether it will allow observers in national poll The law minister said he told the Canadian envoy that it is up to the EC whether it will allow observers in the next national election. During the visit, Nicholls wanted to know whether they can send observers to oversee the next election, They also discussed the Digital Security Act and the Data Protection Act. “They did not say anything about the Digital Security Act. I informed them about it as this issue is being widely discussed,” said the minister. Read more: Govt won’t send Khaleda back to jail before election: Law Minister Regarding the proposed Data Protection Act, the minister said already a meeting was held with the stakeholders. There will be two to three more meetings. “It will not be for data control, it will be for protection.” During the visit they discussed 50 years of friendship between the two nations, areas of mutual cooperation, importance of freedom of expression in democratic societies.
Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader today said Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will swallow the entire country if it returns to power. “(When the party was in power) BNP ate up the foreign exchange reserves of the country. The economy was also ruined. The values of the Liberation War were not honoured either. The ideals of freedom were nonexistent,” he said. Quader made the remarks at the triennial council of Dhaka District Awami League which was held today at the capital's Sher-E-Bangla Nagar old trade fair ground. Quader, also road transport and bridges minister, said that Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves were less than USD 5 billion when BNP left office. He said from that position, the foreign exchange reserves went up to USD 48 billion during the tenure of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government. Read: Dhaka AL Council: Benzir named president, Poniruzzaman GS Due to the ongoing global crisis, the reserves came down to USD 36 billion, he said, adding that not only Bangladesh but also the whole world is facing an acute financial crisis. Comparing their council with BNP's rally in Rangpur, Quader urged BNP general secretary Mirza Fakhrul to see how many people turned out at the district council even without the presence of Sheikh Hasina. "Most activists who attended the BNP rally passed their time under the open sky as they arrived two-three days ago. But Mirza Fakhrul was living it up on a bed of money. The more programmes he can arrange, the more money he can make. Money is coming from Dubai," he said. He said 10 lakh people will turn out at the AL rally in Chattogram to be held on December 4 where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend. Read more: AL is not obstructing BNP rally, says Obaidul Quader Freedom fighter Benazir Ahmed was announced the president of the new committee at Dhaka AL triennial council while Ponirujjaman Tarun was named general secretary. Dhaka District Awami League triennial council was held last in September, 2016.
Benzir Ahmed has been made president of Awami League’s Dhaka district unit while Poniruzzaman Torun was named general secretary. AL general secretary Obaidul Quader announced their names during the triennial council of the party’s Dhaka district unit on Saturday. Thousands of Awami League followers, activists and leaders of Dhaka and adjacent areas turned out at Dhaka’s Sher-E-Bangla Nagar old trade fair grounds to attend the council. People started arriving at the venue from 12 pm. It was full to the brim within 2 pm. Read more: Work to gain people’s confidence: PM to AL councillors
The triennial council of Dhaka District Awami League will be held on Saturday at the capital's Sherbangla Nagar old trade fair ground. AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader has hinted that the event will see a huge turnout bigger than BNP's rallies. Enthusiasm has been observed among the leaders and workers of the party, he said. Dhaka district consists of 5 upazilas- Savar, Dhamrai, Dohar, Nawabganj, andd Keraniganj. Bangladesh Awami League presidium member Advocate Kamrul Islam will inaugurate the council while the general secretary of the party Quader will be present as the chief guest. Read more: No one can destroy Awami League: Hasina Dhaka District Awami League triennial council was held last September 2016 while Benazir Ahmed, the freedom fighter, was appointed as the president while a 71-member Dhaka District Awami League committee was formed with Mahbubur Rahman as the general secretary. Due to the Corona pandemic, the council was scheduled to be held in 2019 but was not held on time. Banner-festoon-posters have been hung in different places of the upazilas.
Awami League (AL) General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Friday said his party hardly cares about BNP's public rallies. Quader made the comment while speaking at a press briefing at his official residence here. In reply to a statement of BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, he said there is no reason for the government to be shaken by the turnout at BNP's rallies. "The BNP was unable to gather one lakh people despite targeting 10 lakh. Pepple see huge public gatherings at the AL's ward- and thana level council in the city, which were reported in media. This is the actual senario of BNP's rally." He said the AL will play game against those who want to play with the fate of 17 crore people.The game will be played against Hawa Bhaban, looting, money laundering and corruption, and against those who created 1.25 crore fake voters and the vote thefts. Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said the game will be played against those who opposed the country's development and those who patronised communal forces and who do not believe in the spirit of the Liberation War. Quader said BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia once stated that none is impartial except the insane and the children. Read:AL is not obstructing BNP rally, says Obaidul Quader "So, do you want elections under a caretaker government led by madmen or children? The BNP leaders who are blinded by the lust for power can only seek that," he said. Quader said there is a constitutional body - Election Commission (EC) - in the country and the election will be held on time under it while the government will only cooperate with the Commission. He also said the elections will be held in the country the way polls are being held in democratic countries of the world, not under any person or party. "Do you (BNP) remember how much you left in the reserve?" he asked, adding that when BNP quit power, the country's foreign reserve was less than US$ five billion," he said. "Has the government gulped the reserve money or has it spent the reserve for the development of the country and the welfare of the people through import expenditure?, he asked. Quader said from that level, the foreign reserve increased to US$ 48 billion during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government. Due to ongoing global crisis, the reserve came down to US$ 36 billion from US$ 48 billion, he said adding, not only Bangladesh but also the whole world has been facing this crisis. "The reserve during the BNP's era was zero. Now how do they (BNP leaders) talk about reserve? The government will be able to import for the next 5 to 6 months with the current reserves," the AL general secretary said. About Fakhrul's advice to transport owners and workers over the transport strikes, he said hundreds of vehicles were vandalised, petrol bombs were thrown on cars and transport workers and earnings of transport workers were stopped forcibly by the BNP. Quader said the BNP men had made transport owners' and workers' families destitutes and they did not forget the BNP's arson attacks and terrorism. Quader said that the transport owner workers are not of any particular party, there are people from all parties here. He recalled the BNP leaders and said that the President of Transport Owners Association of Awami League, General Secretary from Bangladesh Somajtantik Dal, BNP leader Shimul Biswas is also the Senior Vice President of Bangladesh Workers Federation. Ask him why the strike? Owners Association composed of all parties, Jatiya Party is the president there, General Secretary Awami League supported, all other parties are represented, - Obaidul Quader urged BNP leaders to talk to them and ask them why they are afraid of you, why they can't forget the painful memories 2013-14, ask them.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday said though BNP now can hold its political programmes freely, the arson attackers who burned people alive will be apprehended and given proper punishment. “Since we believe in democracy, now BNP can arrange meetings, processions and all programmes freely…. But the accused who were involved in such killings, arson violence and militancy will have to be apprehended and given appropriate punishment. Because, they violated human rights and killed people burning them alive,” she said. Hasina, also the President of Bangladesh Awami League, said this while chairing a meeting of her party’s central committee at her official residence Ganabhaban. Read: Convey misrule, brutality under BNP regimes: PM tells expat Bangladeshis Referring to arson violence indulged by BNP-Jamaat in 2013-2015, she said they killed people burning them alive, launching arson attacks everywhere including trains, buses, launches and even CNG-run auto rickshaws. She said the perpetrators have been hiding, but they would come out as BNP is waging movement on the streets. “They tortured the people. There will be no room for them. The law will take its own course. The law is equal for all,” she added. The PM said there will be no room for the politics of terrorism and militancy in this country. “We’ll not allow it,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said her party came to power working for the people and winning their hearts and it still has been able to hold the public trust. “We came to power with votes of the people and their trust. We’ve been upholding the trust of this country’s people for the last 14 years…. Rather Bangladesh Awami League has attained larger popularity in this time,” she said, asking her party’s leaders and activists to go forward maintaining this achievement. She said the people don’t believe in those who were terrorists, killers, perpetrators of 10-truck arms-haul incident, grenade attackers and who launched bomb attacks simultaneously in 63 districts. “The people of Bangladesh will never stand beside them and never vote for them as well,” she said. Talking about the Payra seaport construction, the premier said the project has been implemented with own money drawn from Bangladesh Infrastructural Development Fund which was formed with money from the country’s foreign reserves. She said the money has been given to the Shipping Ministry at 2 percent service charge and it will pay back the money with the 2 percent interest. So, it will not affect the reserves and rather it will also make a profit from it, she added. About the energy crisis, the PM said the government is taking steps on how energy can be imported to meet its deficit here in Bangladesh. In a recent meeting with food importers, she told the businessmen clearly that the government can import energy if they are ready to purchase it at international prices. The government has no capacity to provide additional subsidy here as it’ll have to provide Tk 46,000 crore as subsidy to purchase foods. Now some Tk 86,000 crore is needed to provide subsidy to agriculture, power and energy sectors, she said, adding that the government has taken measures to enhance solar energy in the country. PM Hasina asked AL leaders and activists to raise her government’s successes and achievements, development plans and misrules of BNP regimes before the people. AL triennial council to be held in simple manner amid crisis: She said Awami League perhaps is the only party that follows its charter and arranges its council regularly as well as works for the people. She said AL triennial council will be held in December next and they would form a committee to implement the council in Friday’s meeting. The AL president said this year the council will be in simple manners at a low budget as part of exercising austerity amid the economic crisis.