Published: Friday, July 26, 2013

It’s EC that will decide

CEC reacts to army deployment in polls; BNP warns against code of conduct proposal

Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad yesterday said the Election Commission will decide on the deployment of law enforcement agencies during the ensuing general election.
He made the comment a day after the ruling Awami League General Secretary and LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam had asked the deputy commissioners (DCs) to prepare for holding the next parliamentary elections in a free, fair and credible manner without the help of the army.
Asked by newsmen at the EC secretariat whether Ashraf can make such comments or not, he said, “Everyone can make comments according to his assessment. He [Ashraf] might have made the comment as per his assessment. It won’t be right for me to make any comment on his remark.”
Right now, the EC cannot predict on what sort of law enforcement agencies will be deployed in the upcoming general election, added the CEC.
After declaring a polls schedule, the EC assesses the overall law and order situation on the basis of information from law enforcement agencies, mentioned Rakibuddin. “Our stance is very clear. We will decide about deploying law enforcement agencies in time as per our assessment.”
He also emphasised the importance of settling the polls-time government issue immediately to enable the EC prepare for a free, fair and credible national election.
Since it is a political issue, it needs to be resolved politically with an agreement between the political parties, he pointed out.
Queried whether the EC would hold a dialogue with political parties before amending the electoral code of conduct, the CEC said they will think about it later.
Meanwhile, the EC yesterday sent the draft of the Representation of the People’s Order (Amendment) Act, 2013 to the law ministry for scrutinisation.
BNP yesterday asked the EC to drop a proposal which would allow the ruling party chief and its 20 leaders lead electioneering across the country if the next general election is held under a partisan government.
The EC made the proposal in a draft amendment to the electoral code of conduct. In its first official reaction to the EC move, the main opposition party said the proposal goes against the concept of free and fair election.
“The commission has added fuel to the fire by adopting a stance against people,” BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan told newsmen at a press conference at its Nayapaltan headquarters.
He expressed concern that the amendment would create a fresh crisis in the country and put the whole electoral system in question.
Nazrul also asked the EC commissioners to step down if they cannot stop the amendment from being incorporated in the electoral code of coduct.
Once approved, the new provision of the electoral code of conduct would allow Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League chief, along with 20 other ministers or state ministers or AL leaders join the polls campaign without resigning from her post.
If the EC, said the BNP leader, allows special privileges to any party through the amendment, it would destroy the level playing field in the election. For this reason, the election results would not be acceptable to the people, he noted.
By drafting the amendment, the EC has become an institution subservient to the government, complained Nazrul.
BNP had alleged that a free and fair election would not be possible under the incumbent EC and its recent move has proved the allegation to be true, he maintained.

  • Wind

    It sounds like mockery but the practical thing is different .In this incumbent or the earlier one could do any work without the interference of the high-ups .To satisfy or eye-wash is quiet different from the real standard .That only happens where people rush in rumors.So, some erudite fools in our land will belief this statement.