• Friday, March 06, 2015

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Upazila Elections

Not taking the long view


Not taking the long view

ELECTION watchers, political analysts and others who want to see democratic institutions and with them democracy flourish in this country have expressed their disappointments over the conduct of the last phases of the recently held upazila parishad elections. At the same time, they emphasised the pointlessness of the electoral victories claimed by the...


Chairman with a difference

SELDOM do we come across public representatives at local government level fulfilling their pre-election pledges and still less do we find them being re-elected for another term of office. Mr. Osman Gani Talukdar has achieved both. He has been re-elected as Chairman, Louhajang upazila parishad in Munshiganj. Mr. Talukdar is widely respected for his commitment to giving back to the people rather than taking benefits which, as chairman, he is officially entitled to. He has forsaken his monthly salary...

The Third View

Do we have to swallow such “rubbish”?

RECENTLY we came across three examples of political rhetoric going haywire. They were, to quote our hardworking, often smiling and affable finance minister, simply “rubbish.” It is as if our people are so foolish and dumb that anything can be said without the least bit of substance to back it up. And interestingly the three examples come from completely different sources. First, of course, is the claim by the BNP chief, a two-time former prime minister, that her husband, late...

Biometric Database Management

Three ECs to visit five countries for insight

Three election commissioners are scheduled to visit five countries this month and the next to learn about biometric database management system. They will leave the country immediately after the chief election commissioner (CEC), who is in the US now, returns home after his a month and a half long foreign tour that sparked huge criticism from different quarters. CEC Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad has set an unprecedented example of leaving the EC leaderless during the recently held upazila elections. A three-member delegation led...

AL's claim of fairest upazila polls: April Fool's joke

MANY politicians, particularly those belonging to the party in power, consider us as 'fools.' They want us to believe blindly whatever they say, whether it is right or wrong or a distortion of facts. This is why AL could make the bizarre claim that the just concluded upazila parishad elections were much fairer than all previous polls to local government bodies. It, thus, justified the capturing of polling centres, snatching and stuffing of ballot boxes, driving away of opponents'...


Upazila polls end on disquieting note

THE fifth and last phase of the upazila polls concluded on Monday amid rigging and violence under the seemingly helpless watch of the law-enforcers. Evidently, the incidence of violence and irregularities has progressively been on a rising curve, which reached the peak in the final phase. Many voters have not only been virtually disenfranchised, their faith in the electoral process has touched a new low. All the incidents of capturing polling centres, driving away of voters and rival candidates' polling...

Uz Polls

Winners are losers

THERE are occasions when the winners end up as losers. This has been the case in the just-concluded upazila elections staggered through five weeks. The ruling Awami League has come from behind to win 225 posts of upazila chairman, leaving its arch rival BNP far behind with 157 posts. Jamaat, facing a campaign that the Islamist party be banned for its role in the war crimes committed during Bangladesh's 1971 Liberation War, has done fairly well getting 35 chairman...

Increasing violence, better results

ONE has to look at the difference between a national election and local election. In a national election the EC according to its constitutional mandate has the ability to declare election schedule independently, whereas in a local election the schedule is declared by the EC as per the government's instruction. The recently concluded UZ election was carried out as per government's decision within a month of a highly controversial 10th Parliamentary election. It's not clear  why UZ elections had to...

We all are conspirators, only AL is democrat?

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has gifted us on Independence Day a "historic invention" by claiming General Zia  to be the first president of Bangladesh. Her party now wants us to accept the gift and feel proud of this, regardless of the historical facts. The same day--on March 27--her archrival PM Sheikh Hasina told us that her ruling Awami League men were not engaged in rigging the upazila parishad elections held in four phases since February 19. She, rather, claimed that...

Upazila Polls

Security in elections

Security in elections

WITNESSING the downward slide of our electoral system as it unfolded in the last four phases of upazila elections one can conclude that people are once again losing faith in the system. One was hoping against hope that perhaps our Election Commission (EC), with all its tough talks a day prior to the...

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