FBCCI elections held amid rules violation

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The biennial elections to the board of directors of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry for 2015-17 tenure was held on Saturday amid violation of the election code of conduct and stray incidents.
The casting of votes started from 9:00am and continued till 5:00pm without any break.
From the starting of the polls the supporters of several candidates staged demonstrations and chanted slogans in front of Federation Bhaban in Dhaka and put barriers on the entrance of the polling centre.
Violating the code of conduct candidates and their supporters installed billboards and displayed banners and posters in front of the FBCCI building.
The election board told journalists that it would take steps against the code of conduct violation. But it did not take any such initiative except calling upon law enforcement agencies to maintain discipline at the entrance of the polling centre.
The candidates were also seen unworried about the code of conduct violations as all the panels were involved in such malpractices.
Supporters of Unnayan Parishad and Baboshayee Oikya Parishad chased each others at around 10:00am.
A number of voters linked with some influential candidates and their relatives were found staying in the polling centre all the day and most of them carried badges in support of several candidates.
‘The polls were held in a free and fair manner and the candidates have said that the electoral environment was peaceful,’ the election board chairman Ali Ashraf told reporters.
He said that more than 95 per cent of voters cast their votes in the elections.
This year, the total voters were 2,193 and of them 430 were from 78 chambers and 1,763 were from 355 associations.
Another source of election board said 418 voters from the chamber group cast their votes while 1,532 voters from association group took part in voting.
There were three panels contesting the elections.
Abdul Matlub Ahmad, chairman of Nitol Niloy Group, is leading a panel under the banner of Unnayan Parishad from both chamber and association groups.
Matlub who has already been nominated as a director of the FBCCI from the Rajshahi Chamber of Commerce and Industry will vie for the post of president of the apex trade body.
According to business people, Matlub has already got green signals from the government high-ups and is set to be the president of the FBCCI.
As per the existing electoral rules, on one can be elected as FBCCI president without government blessing, they said.
Another aspirant to the post Monowara Hakim Ali, incumbent vice-president of the FBCCI, is contesting the elections with a 14-member panel from the chamber group under the banner of Shwadhinata Baboshaye Parishad.
Another full panel from the association group under the banner of Baboshayee Oikya Parishad led by Syed Moazzam Hossain, Kazi Ertaza Hassan and Shafquat Haider contested the elections.
A total of 63 candidates contested the elections for 32 director posts (16 from association and 16 from chamber group).
In the electoral process, the board of FBCCI will be formed with 52 directors — 32 in direct voting while 20 will be nominated from different chambers and associations.
Fifty-two directors will choose the president and vice-presidents of FBCCI for the next two years.
The elections to the posts of president and two vice-presidents will be held on May 25 (tomorrow).
Source: New Age

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