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08th-May-2018

Nat`l polls may also be delayed

By

Staff Reporter :
Supreme Court Senior Advocate and President of the Gono Forum Dr Kamal
Hossain said the ruling party Awami League has suspended the Gazipur City Corporation election using the court oder to avoid defeat.
Speaking at a discussion meeting at Jatiya Press Club yesterday afternoon
He said Awami League resorted to the practice knowing it well that its Mayoral candidate in Gaziur City Corporation election will not get even 10 percent votes.
The eminent lawyer who is also one of the founders of the Constitution said he fears there is also a possibility that the upcoming Parliament election may face similar suspension to the save the ruling party from defeat.
Attorney General Mahbube Alam says the government would consider making appeal against the order. Apparently responding to Dr Kamal's remark that the parliament election may even face similar fate, Awami League leaders said 'SUJAN' and 'Gono-Forum' - the political party Dr Kamal Hossain runs are engaging in conspiracy and trying to bring unholy forces to power.
BNP leader Nazrul Islam said following the Gazipur City election suspension people have started talking if BNP decides to join Parliamentary election, what Awami League would do. He said there is every possibility that the government would suspend the National Election fearing defeat.  
People at Gazipur and all over the country were taken by surprise by the
High Court order on Sunday on a writ by an unknown Savar Awami League leader challenging the inclusion of  six wards wih Gazipur City Corporation from the jurisdiction of Savar Upazila six years back.
Campaign by both major party candidates came to a halt immediately as the news spread of the election halt for three months. The Election Commission and the Chief Election Commissioner in particular claim they were in total dark when the High Court Bench issued the order after a brief hearing.
The suspension of the election long after the announcement of the election schedules on April 12 and only 10 days from the polling date appears to be highly intriguing to people at all over the country and to Gazipur people in particular. But the question arises as to why the EC has announced the schedules if legal questions were hanging on demarcation of City wards.
CEC Nurul Huda can't cover his failure by saying he knew there was no legal issue pending over Gazipur City election and therefore he has announced the polling schedules. He asserted such suspension would not happen in case of Khulna City polls raising question how he knew about it if he had not known about Gazipur. People are totally confused.  
Gazipur City polls sees the repeat of the suspension of the Dhaka North City Corporation election in February 26 this year. The CEC used similar lack of knowledge before the High Court order came giving stay to the Dhaka North City polls for three months and later extended to six months.
Another local Awami League leader had filed the writ on that occasion and there was no secret he acted for the government to halt the election to halt humiliating defeat for the ruling party Mayoral candidate.
It appears to have become a pattern of the ruling party to give local government elections and when they see the situation is not to their favour, they use the court to halt the election when the Election Commission take the back seat.     
When the CEC says  "We all came to know about it later," it hears like a big political joke.  Constitutional law says "A court shall not pass any order or direction, ad interim or otherwise, in relation to an election for which schedules have been announced, unless the Election Commission has been given reasonable notice and an opportunity of being heard."
The Article was included in the 15th constitutional amendment in 2011 on EC's request, but it appears that neither the court nor the EC is giving significance to the law.
It is an open secret that the EC is not having the backbone and playing a sub-servient role instead of steering the constitutional body like the way it should be handled independently. The position of the CEC shows he is totally incompetent when the government is destroying all public institutions which were otherwise mandated to protect people's right to vote.