Shoto Nagorik plea to extend nomination time rejected

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad yesterday turned down a request for extension of deadline for submission of nomination paper of Dhaka and Chittagong city corporation elections by two or three days.
Rejecting the Shoto Nagorik Committee proposal for extending by two days the time the CEC said that the pro-BNP professionals requested us to extend the time. But, we have given more time for nomination paper submission in this election in compared to the previous elections, the CEC told reporters at his office.However the CEC pointed out that the EC has directed the Bank authorities to keep the banks open in the holidays on Friday and Saturday. So, the candidates will get two more days times, he noted.
Earlier, in the day the Shoto Nagorik Committee, a pro-BNP citizens’ platform, in a written application requested the Election Commission (EC) to extend the deadline for submission of nomination paper for the Dhaka and Chittagong city corporation elections by two or three days.
In a six point demand, the Shoto Nagorik committee also urged the EC to ensure the secure electoral campaigns for candidates backed by different parties, who were allegedly arrested and harassed by the law enforcers after filing false cases against them.
Relating to this point, the CEC said that they have already completed 6 elections so far in a fair and transparent way and’ hopefully we will hold a free, fair and neutral election this time’.
The Shoto Nagorik Committee also urged the EC to take initiative for helping open all political offices including BNP’s two offices, which were locked by the government about three months ago.
The six-member delegation headed by Prof Emajuddin Ahmed, former vice-chancellor of Dhaka University, met the CEC at the Election Commission Secretariat on Wednesday afternoon.
Other members of the delegation were: Prof Mahbub Ullah, a former vice chancellor of National University, Khandaker Mahbub Hossain, president of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and also an adviser to the BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, Abdul Hai Sikdar, president of a faction of Dhaka Union of Journalists, Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, founder of Gonoshasthaya Kendra and Fahima Nasrin Munni, a Supreme Court lawyer.
After placing their six-point demand, SCBA president Khandakar Mahbub Hossain said if the honest candidates are nominated from the BNP, then we would provide our support to them.
But, we want free, fair and transparent city corporation elections, he added. – Staff Reporter