Political parties express concern about polls
Source: The Bangladesh Today
March 17, 2008
Different political parties including Awami League and BNP on Sunday expressed concern about the holding of national election as per schedule as the government is still delaying the electoral process. They were participating in a roundtable conference on "Election, Emergency and our Politics" organised by the daily Ittefaq held at the National Press Club yesterday. "The Election Commission is yet to finalise the electoral rules, area demarcation, and preparation of voter Identity Cards as per its roadmap announced by the commission earlier. The army personnel wanted to complete voter ID cards within six months. But six months have already elapsed and only 40 per cent ID cards have been prepared. As people from all walks of life want to see an elected political government, we are asking the government to hold election as per roadmap and handover the power to the elected political party," they said.
Speaking on the occasion, Tofael Ahmed said the people of the country are waiting for an election which will be free from black money, muscle power and partiality. "Although the Chief Adviser, the Chief Election Commissioner and Army Chief are frequently telling us that parliament election will be held by December 2008, but no works are being completed yet as per the roadmap as the EC has failed to finalise the electoral rule by February and hasn’t started demarcating constituencies", he added.
Hannan Shah said, "When the people are waiting for the national election, the government is busy with holding local government election in a bid to divert the attention from the main issue. The government is not lifting the emergency rule as they want to continue in power. In a country like Pakistan where every day people are being killed by terror attacks, the parliament election was held there at an emergency free atmosphere."
Goyeshwar Roy said the government will not hold election until minus two formula is implemented. "Whatever the judgment of courts, we demand unconditional release of two leaders Begum Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina," he added.
Dr. Kamal Hossain said a national unity is needed under the banner of pro liberation forces. "We need political reform for building a prosperous and happy Bangladesh where there will be no nomination business and political criminalization," he added. Hasanul Haque Inu said BNP and Jammat are responsible for the political catastrophe. "BNP and Jamaat using President Iajuddin Ahmed wanted to come to power again through election engineering. As a result emergency has been promulgated. For their mistake the entire Nation is still suffering," he said.
In his speech Rashed Khana Menon said that by holding a national convention of union parishad Chairmen and Members, the caretaker government is encouraging them to divert the people away from the general election towards local government election.