Don’t delay election further, AL urges EC


Dhaka, November 14: Awami League (AL) on Wednesday urged the Election Commission not to push back the election further as what it said it will invite legal complexities over the polls.“We’ve clearly said you (EC) deferred the election thrice. But you shouldn’t delay the election for a day or for an hour,” Co-chairman of AL National Election Conducting Committee HT Imam told reporters after a meeting between an AL delegation and the EC.

HT Imam led a 12-member team of the ruling party during the meeting held at the Nirbachan Bhaban in the city.

Arguing for his party’s stance over not delaying the polls further, he said if the election is deferred even to January 1, several lakh more young people will be eligible to be registered as fresh voters by the time.

“If such voters aren’t registered and anyone of them can file a writ petition with the court (High Court) and the election will be spoiled immediately,” he said.

Besides, HT Imam said, textbooks will have to be distributed among schoolchildren at the beginning of the New Year while Biswa Ijtema is scheduled to be held in January.

He said many were demanding deferment of the election without considering its consequences.

Pointing at the Jatiya Oikyafront, he said, “Today, they also placed the demand for the election delay.”

HT Imam, also a member of AL Advisory Council, said they urged the Election Commission to take measures against the violation of the electoral code of conduct which took place in front of the BNP office on Wednesday.

“What happened today at Nayapaltan is a clear violation of the electoral code of conduct…BNP breached the code of conduct. We think today’s incident is a punishable offence. We told the EC to take measures in this regard.”

In reply, the Commission said it will consider the matter, said HT Imam.

He said no such incident occurred during the collection and submission of AL’s nomination forms in the city’s Dhanmondi area. “There was crowd but no incident occurred there,” he said.

HT Imam, also political adviser to the Prime Minister, said they asked the Commission to exercise their authority strictly. “We clearly said now the Election Commission is the government. The power is in the hand of the Election Commission. So, they should exercise their power,” he said.

AL Organising Secretary Dr Dipu Moni said the Commission deferred the announcement of the election schedule twice earlier.

She questioned whether the demand for polls deferment is an effort to spoil the election.

The AL leader said Oikyafront leaders on the one hand they are talking about ensuring a congenial atmosphere for polls and making the election credible what AL also wants are resorting to violence on the other.

The other AL delegation members included Dr Mashiur Rahman, Rashidul Alam, Barrister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury Naufel, Barrister Biplab Barua, Tanveer Imam and Fazilatun Nasa Bappy.

Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda and other election commissioners were present at the meeting.

Earlier, a delegation of the Jatiya Oikyafront, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, sat in a meeting with the Election Commission at the Nirbachan Bhaban and demanded deferment of the polls by three more weeks.