EC draws attention of PM, speaker
The Election Commission yesterday complained to the prime minister and the Speaker that Awami League MP Sharif Ahmed had threatened a returning officer to influence the municipality polls.
In letters, the EC said the activities of the Mymensingh-2 lawmaker were regretful and harmful to the image of the government and the EC.
"The commission thinks that the issue should be brought to your attention [the PM and the Speaker]," the letters read.
The EC sent the letters to the principal secretary of the Prime Minister's Office and secretary of the Parliament Secretariat.
The elections to 234 municipalities were held on December 30 and the mayor candidate Shasha Dhar Sen, whom Sharif was reportedly backing, ultimately lost the election.
The EC filed the complaint after the returning officer of Phulpur municipality polls Subrata Paul alleged that he received threats from the lawmaker for “not working in favour of the lawmaker-supported mayor candidate”.
Paul, also upazila nirbahi officer of Phulpur in Mymensingh, filed a complaint with the deputy commissioner on December 31.
The DC sent the complaint to the cabinet secretary, and subsequently the cabinet division forwarded it to the EC.
Paul alleged that the lawmaker had been mounting pressure on him to work in favour of the AL-nominated candidate since November 24. The MP on several occasions put pressure on him to ignore the violations of electoral codes of conducts by him and his men. Breaching the electoral rules, the lawmaker joined the campaign repeatedly, alleged the returning officer.
On polls day, followers of the MP mounted pressure on the election official to allow stuffing of ballot boxes, Paul said.
Homemade bombs were exploded inside the home of Paul and in front of his office on the evening on December 30 after voting was completed.
A day after the election day, Sharif called Paul and threatened him, the official said.
"In such a situation, my family members and I feel insecure," Paul said in the letter and requested the DC of Mymensingh to take necessary steps.
When The Daily Star called MP Sharif Ahmed over the phone to have his comments regarding the matter, he was dealing with the loss of a family member yesterday. This paper chose not to ask him questions about the allegations against him for the time being.
Talking to The Daily Star, EC Secretary Sirazul Islam said, "We have sent letters to the prime minister and the Speaker of parliament to bring the issue to their attention."
In response to a question, the secretary said the commission had nothing to do apart from filing the complaint.