Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad on Wednesday said the decision about the army deployment in the city corporation elections will be taken considering the situation after the law-and-order meeting.
“We’ll hold the law-and-order meeting on April 19 and discuss the matter. We’ll take the decision considering the situation,” he told reporters in the afternoon replying to a query whether the army will be deployed giving in BNP’s demand.
Earlier on Wednesday, a seven-member BNP delegation, led by its standing committee member ASM Hannan Shah, met the CEC and demanded army deployment for maintaining the law and order during the three city corporation elections slated for April 28.
Replying to another question about BNP’s demand to stop arrest and police harassment of its leaders and activists who are accused in various cases, the CEC said, “They (BNP delegation members) themselves said those who face lawsuits will battle in the court. We’ve nothing to do about the court.”
Saying that the commission cannot bring back those who are in the hideout, Rakibuddin said, “Those who are on bail will face a system and those are on the run will face another system as per the law.”
He, however, said there is precedence in the past that many candidates contested the elections staying in the jail. “Voters are very conscious. If the candidates who are in jail are competent, voters will elect them,” he added.
About BNP’s demand to review the decision of cancellation of BNP-blessed mayoral aspirant Abdul Awal Mintoo’s mayoral nomination paper, the CEC said the commission has nothing to do in this regard.
“We’ve no jurisdiction on the matter. It (scrutiny of nomination paper) is quasi judicial procedure. I’ve suggested them appeal against the decision within three days.”
On Wednesday morning, the returning officer of Dhaka North City Corporation election turned down the nomination paper of Mintoo as the person who supported his nomination is not a voter of the city corporation.
According to election schedules announced on April 18, the two-day scrutiny of 1833 nomination papers in Dhaka South City Corporation and Dhaka North City Corporation and Chittagong City Corporation will complete on Thursday.
The last date for withdrawal of candidature is April 9.