The Election Commission (EC) has extended the deadline for holding any fresh election to the Gaibandha-5 parliamentary seat by three months, or till January 20, 2023. 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. According to Section 123(4) of the Bangladesh constitution, if a parliamentary seat becomes vacant, it must be filled through election within 90 days. Read: Gaibandha-5 by-election cancelled over 'malpractices' The new deadline came in line with law as the EC said the incident at Gaibandha-5 was “unwanted, unimaginable and beyond control.” 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. But the EC cancelled the election because of “widespread malpractices” on the election day on October 12.
BNP on Tuesday provided financial support to the families of the leaders of Jubo Dal and Swechchasebak Dal who were shot dead allegedly by the police in BNP’s political programmes in Bhola. BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir handed over the party’s cash assistance to the families of Jubo Dal leader Noor-e-Alam and Swechchasebak Dal leader Abdur Rahim at the party Chairperson’s Gulshan office. BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman virtually joined the programme. Read: Bhola BNP-Cops clash: Injured JCD leader dies in Dhaka Speaking at the programme, Fakhrul assured that their party will stand by the family members of those who are sacrificing their lives in the ongoing movement for the sake of democracy and people’s voting rights. On July 31, Abdur Rahim was shot dead when the police attacked a protest rally against the increase in fuel and commodity prices in Bhola. Noor-e-Alam died while undergoing treatment on August 3 in Dhaka who sustained bullet wounds during the clash. The assistance was provided from the party fund and the party's acting chairperson Tarique Rahman and. Besides, Australian expatriate Habibur Rahman and American expatriate Saiful Alam Kadar provided financial support for these two families. BNP Senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, vice chairman Hafiz Uddin Ahmed, central leader Nazim Uddin Alam and BNP Standing Committee Member Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku, among others, were present at the event.
Election Commissioner Md. Alamgir on Tuesday said that action will be taken against the officials who were involved in irregularities in the by-election of Gaibandha-5 seat. He said this in response to questions from journalists in his office in the election building. Read: Gaibandha-5 polls: Not a reckless decision, says CEC Irrespective of the number of officers, disciplinary action will be taken according to the degree of offence based on the investigation report, he also said. Alamgir said that the EC is neither for nor against anyone. It is the responsibility of the EC to conduct fair and impartial elections. Whenever voting becomes unfair it will be suspended and a new election will be held. The commissioner said that they observed the election of Gaibandha-5 seat through CCTV from the election building. "It was seen that polling agents were pressing the voting button after giving the voter's fingerprint in the secret polling booth. Seeing this, instructions were given to the presiding officer but he did not act accordingly. The order to hand over the culprit to the law enforcement agencies was also not obeyed," he added. Read:Gaibandha-5: AL candidate Ripon wants polls results The commission did not even see that the presiding officers had restored order. So the EC has done what it should have been done under law. Saying that the investigation on all those irregularities is going on, Alamgir said the commission is finding the reason why did the presiding officers commit those irregularities. If the investigation proves that they did it voluntarily and no one acted even though there was an opportunity to restore order, then action will be taken as per law. He said that the EC can give them temporary exemption up to two months. Apart from this, it may recommend the dismissal of the offending officers. The authorities concerned should implement it and inform the EC.
Barishal City Corporation (BCC) Mayor Serniabat Sadik Abdullah today (October 17, 2022) had an incident with Barishal Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Md Moniruzzaman while entering a polling centre during the ongoing Zila Parishad election. In a video shared from the Barishal mayor’s Facebook page, it was seen that the mayor tried to enter Barishal Zila School polling centre with a group of public representatives and the UNO barred him. Read: Barishal clash: Two cases filed against UNO Munibur Rahman “Have I entered the polling centre yet? Why are you creating a scene? Am I a child who doesn’t know the rules? Why are you talking like a stupid person?” Sadik asked Moniruzzaman during an angry outburst. Shocked, the UNO then tried to recollect himself by telling Sadik that he didn’t say anything to him. Later, the UNO told journalists that the news of an altercation between him and the Barishal mayor was “unfounded”. Read Polls underway at 57 Zila Parishads On August 18, 2021, BCC Mayor Sadik got into a heated argument with former Barishal Sadar UNO Munibur Rahman over removing banners. Gunshots were fired during the incident, and three cases were filed with the local police station over the matter.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal has said the Election Commission is not under any pressure, and is doing its job. He said this in response to a question from journalists at Nirbachan Bhaban after visiting the Zila Parishad election monitoring cell on Sunday. Read:Gaibandha-5 polls: Not a reckless decision, says CEC Zila Parishad elections will be held tomorrow (October 17, 2022) – 9am to 2pm – in 57 districts. The EC will monitor the polls through CCTV cameras, from the monitoring cell at Nirbachan Bhaban. The Election Commission on Wednesday suspended the by-elections to Gainbandha-5 parliamentary seat over widespread allegations of vote rigging and voter intimidation. The CEC said the practice of using CCTV cameras is recent. “We can monitor the elections from here. This is a good practice.” “We belong to no party. We want voters to be able to cast their votes. We are using CCTV cameras for ensuring this,” he added. Read:Deal with any intimidation in next polls, CEC asks DCs, SPs In response to a question over how the EC will monitor so many centres through CCTV during the national polls, Election Commissioner Alamgir said, “There will be 400,000 polling booths at 40,000 or 42,000 polling stations during the national election. The five election commissioners alone will not monitor the national election, more manpower will be engaged for monitoring.” In response to another question, the election commissioner said that CCTV cameras will be used in every centre during tomorrow’s Zila Parishad election, as done with Gaibandha-5 by-election. Voting in the Zila Parishad elections will be held at 925 booths in 462 centres across the country and 60,866 voters will cast their votes.
BNP senior leader Amir Khorsru Mahmud Chowdhury on Thursday asked the party to prepare the lists of ‘overenthusiastic’ members of the police and ruling party ‘cadres’ who are attacking opposition leaders and activists and creating barriers to their programmes. “We’re observing that the police members are making the lists of BNP leaders and activists. I would like to ask our leaders and activists to make a list of Awami cadres who created obstacles, attacked you, wounded you and restored to vandalism yesterday (Wednesday),” the BNP leader said. Speaking at a press conference at city unit BNP’s office, he further said, “Prepare also a list of overenthusiastic police members who have been working unfairly violating the constitution, the country’s law and the rule of police,” he added. Khosru alleged that the ‘cadres’ of Awami and Jubo League attacked BNP leaders and workers on their way to BNP’s rally on Wednesday in the port city. Besides, he said some overenthusiastic members of the police conducted search in the houses of BNP leaders and activists and arrested at least 50 of them the day before the rally. “The Awami cadre forces attacked our leaders and activists in many places and at the entry points of the city and blocked their vehicles.” The BNP leader said police stopped vehicular movement in many areas while mobile courts were conducted to prevent normal traffic. “Many vehicles were vandalised and the offices of many of us were attacked and ransacked. They did everything necessary to thwart our rally. The dwellers of Chattogram proved yesterday (Wednesday) through the grand rally that no force can resist people when they get united and take firm decision to do anything.” He said a section of police members raided the houses of BNP leaders and activists, harassed them and blocked vehicle movements violating people’s constitutional rights right to hold public meetings or rallies. The BNP standing committee member urged the police members to re-read the oath they took while entering the service and read the constitution so that they can perform their duties properly. “People won’t accept if they continue such activities violating the constitution.” He said that the image of the police is being tarnished because of some of its members. “Similarly, the US sanctions were imposed on some individuals and institutions of RAB for different activities of its handful members. So, why should the entire police force take the responsibility for the activities of some overenthusiastic members? Khosru expressed gratitude to the leaders and workers of their party and common people for making Wednesday’s rally a grand success by braving all the obstacles, attacks and repressive acts. “The people of Chottogram presented the nation with a gift of an incredible and memorable grand rally overcoming all odds. So, we thank all the leaders and activists under the Chattogram division for it,” he said. Read: AL wants to score in empty field: BNP As his attention to the remarks of executed war criminal Salauddin Quader Chowdhury’s son Hummam Quader at BNP’s rally, Khorsu said what Hummam said was his personal opinion. About Hummam’s Allahu Akbar slogan at the rally, the BNP leader said, “It’s not part of BNP's politics. BNP has no relation with Hummam Quader's statement.” BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and Chattogram city unit BNP president Dr Shahdat Hossain also spoke at the press conference. As part of BNP’s planned divisional programmes, Chattogram city unit BNP organised a rally in the port city on Wednesday where tens of thousands of their activists and leaders joined in protest against the ongoing power crisis, unusual price hikes of daily essentials and killing of five opposition activists in police firing during recent anti-government protests.
Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal on Thursday said that suspension of the election at the Gaibandha-5 constituency was not a “reckless” decision by the Election Commission. He said that it was rather a “thoughtful” decision, which was taken through consultation with all the commissioners. The CEC said the commission would decide its next course of action about the by-election after receiving an investigation report as they have formed a three-member committee to probe all allegations of irregularities. "The Committee will submit their report within seven days. The commission will take its final decision after receiving the report," he told a news briefing in the EC Headquarters in Dhaka. The CEC said it would not be logical to evaluate upcoming elections in light of the incidents that happened in Gaibandha as the commission had successfully conducted previous elections in Cumilla City Corporation and Jhenaidah Municipality with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). He also said local administration cooperated in conducting the election in Gaibandha, but the situation went beyond control and it was not possible to restore order during voting. “We instructed again and again to bring back the order during the voting. The discipline was absent in the entire constituency," he said. The commission on Wednesday suspended the by-election at Gainbandha-5 parliamentary seat amid widespread allegations of vote rigging and voter intimidation. The CEC said they had to take the decision because of malpractices on the election day. Read: Gaibandha-5 by-election cancelled over 'malpractices' According to Section 91 of the Representation of the People Order (RPO), if the commission finds that an election isn’t taking place fairly, the EC can stop election in some or the entire constituency, the CEC said as he clarified the reasons behind the suspension. After the decision, ruling Awami League candidate Mahmud Hasan Ripon criticised the commission and demanded that it declare results. Gaibandha-5 constituency consists of 10 unions of Saghata upazila and 7 unions of Phulchhari upazila. After former MP and Deputy Speaker of the 11th National Parliament Fazle Rabbi Mia died on July 23 the Gaibandha-5 seat fell vacant.
The BNP-Jamaat government appointed "300 party cadres" as upazila election officers ahead of the elections scheduled for January, 2007, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's son and ICT Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy on Friday. "In the history of Bangladesh, there has never been such quick recruitment through the Public Service Commission (PSC)," Joy wrote on his verified Facebook account. The government led by Khaleda Zia tarnished the PSC and the recruitment process in government jobs by making these appointments based on the list and without any examination, he added. Read: Zia killed many freedom fighters to prolong “illegal rule”, says Sajeeb Wazed Joy in FB post
Jatiya Party Chairman Ghulam Muhammed Quader Friday condemned the attack on Netrakona Zilla Parishad chairman candidate Asma Ashraf and demanded immediate arrest of the perpetrators. He, in a statement, said the supporters of the government have been carrying out attacks on Asma Ashraf from the beginning of the election. Read: GM Quader expresses doubt about inclusive election The activities of these pro-government people are seriously disrupting the election environment, Quader, also the deputy opposition leader, said. "The election can't be fair amid the unrestrained violence." Jatiya Party Secretary General Md Mujibul Haque Chunnu also condemned the attack on Jatiya Party leader Asma.
Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader expressed his doubt whether the next general election will be free and fair and inclusive. “The overall situation of the country is fragile with unstable political situation. In such a situation we don’t have any idea whether the election will be held in free and participatory?” he said. Quader was talking to reporters at Rangpur Circuit House on Monday. Describing the economic condition of the country as vulnerable the Jatiya Party leader said there has been a decline in remittance and export earnings, while the import costs are rising. He wondered how long the country can bear the burden of debt caused by mega projects. Replying to a question about formation of any alliance, Quader said no decision has been taken yet. Read: AL desperate to prevent fair polls: Rizvi Participation in election is an important thing and decisions will be taken after a meeting with the leaders and activists from higher to grassroots level of the party. Asked about any secret alliance with BNP, the Jatiya Party chief said “We do not get involved in any entente and everything happens transparently.” Noting that the both parties, Awami League and BNP are the same, GM Quader said now people do want a change and their safety. “People do not want to see murder, rape and looting and we want to present people a healthy politics,” he added. The JP chairman announced that the party has chosen Mostafizar Rahman Mostafa as its candidate for mayoral post of Rangpur City Corporation in upcoming election.