‘Decision on army deployment when polls near’
The Election Commission will decide later whether to deploy army as the next general elections are still far away, Chief Election Commissioner today said.
“Election Commission has the jurisdiction to deploy army during polls,” KM Nurul Huda said in a formal briefing at the Nirbachan Bhaban.
In the existing law, it is possible to deploy army within the purview of the incumbent Election commission law, the CEC said.
The CEC briefed the journalists after the EC held electoral dialogue with various political parties, members of the civil society and media over a span of two and a half months.
During the polls talks with the EC, most political parties wanted the deployment of the army before the next general elections.
However, not all the parties agree on what sort of power the army should have during the elections which is likely to be held in December 2018. Some want it deployed with magistracy power while others want it as a strike force in case an untoward situation developed.
The EC had also talked to civil society members, editors, and senior journalists about the elections. Most civil society members spoke of restoring the “No Vote” system and ensuring a level-playing field for all political parties.
CEC stands by comments on Zia
KM Nurul Huda said he stands by his comments where he claimed BNP founder General Ziaur Rahman restored multi-party democracy in the nation.
“Yes I own my statement. I said it based on facts. I did not say Zia introduced multi-party democracy rather I said Zia restored multi-party democracy,” Huda said while replying to a query at the briefing.
From 1975 to 1977 there was no democracy in the country, the CEC said adding that Zia restored multi-party democracy under which many political parties including the Awami League joined in the parliamentary elections.
Asked whether Awami League asked for any explanations in this regard, he said he did not explain anything to the ruling party and they probably got the explanation from his speech during the electoral talks with the AL party leaders.