It was selection, not election on Jan 5: Rafique-Ul Huq

Describing the January-5 national election a ‘mockery’, eminent jurist Rafique-Ul Huq on Thursday told the High Court that it was rather selection than election as per the country’s constitution.

“The so-called January-5 election was not election in the eye of law. The constitution doesn’t speak about such election,” he said while placing arguments as amicus curiae (friend of court) before the HC during the hearing on a writ petition.

Khandker Abdus Salam, a Jatiya Party leader, filed the petition with the court in December last year challenging the legality of Article 19 of the Representation of the People Order (RPO).

He was disqualified from contesting the national polls from a constituency in Gazipur on charge of defaulting loan.

The HC in February in a rule asked the Election Commission and the government to explain why the provision should not be declared unconstitutional.

Rafique-Ul Huq also mentioned Article 65(2) of the constitution that stipulates that the members of parliament shall be elected in accordance with the law from single territorial constituencies by direct election not selection.

Mentioning that the government gave an indication of holding midterm election, he hoped that free, fair and meaningful elections will be organised soon.

Observing that time is yet to come to hold a free and fair election under a political party, Rafique-Ul Huq, also former Attorney General, said two more national elections could have been held under interim administration or non-party caretaker government.

In this regard, he mentioned, “Ruling party even influenced (recently-held) upazila parishad polls. It’s not possible to hold free and fair elections under present circumstances despite the fact that the Prime Minister truly wants that.”

On completion of Thursday’s hearing, the HC bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar adjourned the hearing until June 11.

Source: UNB Connect