Bangladesh: Opposition calls for CEC’s resignation

Dhaka: Merely four days before the 11th General Elections, the Jatiya Oikya Front here has called for the Chief Election Commissioner’s (CEC) resignation, accusing him of bias.

This comes in the aftermath of a delegation belonging to the alliance walking out of a meeting with the CEC, KM Nurul Huda, on December 25 over the latter’s “discourteous” behaviour.

“When we began to complain about the police role, he [CEC] took their side. We Don’t expect such behaviour” The Daily Star quoted Nazrul Islam Khan from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) as saying.

Furthermore, BNP’s Secretary-General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, “His behaviour was discourteous,” while referring to the CEC.

The alliance later called a presser on Tuesday night and demanded the CEC’s resignation and pushed for the appointment of a “neutral person” so that a free and fair election is conducted.

Kamal Hossain led the Front’s delegation at the meeting yesterday and put forth their concerns regarding the violence against leaders and party workers from the opposition in the run-up to Sunday’s elections. He also complained about police action and mentioned that a few members from the police forces were acting like “beasts”.

“You cannot label a force in such a way. Whatever police are doing are within the legal framework. Who do you think you are?” the CEC told Hossain in response.

The opposition front also called for the withdrawal of four police officials during Tuesday’s meeting. Furthermore, it also claimed that the police refused to give them protection in the wake of violence initiated against them by rival parties. The CEC rejected all allegations against the police forces, leading to the walk-out and the subsequent demand for resignation.