Public hearing on 30 Dec polls on 22 Feb

Public hearing on 30 Dec polls on 22 Feb

Staff Correspondent. Dhaka | Prothom Alo Feb 19, 2019

The Jatiya Oikya Front’s steering committee holds a meeting at the chamber of Kamal Hossain on Tuesday. Photo: Protohm AloThe opposition coalition of Jatiya Oikya Front or National Unity Front has brought ahead by two days its planned public hearing on the ‘rigged’ national polls held on 30 December 2018.

The hearing is now scheduled to be held at Supreme Court Bar Association auditorium on Friday (22 February) instead of Sunday (24 February).

It will focus on ‘vote robbery’ in the 11th parliamentary polls that brought the Awami League back to power.

The Front inclusive of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party has rescheduled the date for the hearing for its leaders could not find any venue.

“We didn’t find any venue – Press Club, Mohanagar Nattya Mancha, Engineers’ Institute. This is a suffocating situation; so we’ve been compelled to bring ahead the date,” the Front’s steering committee member Zafrullah Chowdhury told the media after a meeting of the Front.

However, candidates of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami who took part in the elections with sheaf of paddy symbol of the BNP the way other Front candidates did, would not be invited to the public hearing.

Asked about this, Front chief, noted jurist Kamal Hossain said he was not aware of the Jamaat’s matter.

He said the public hearing will begin at 10am and continue till 4-5pm with a one-hour break from 1pm.

Replying to a query as to what they want to achieve from the public hearing, Kamal said people are the owners of the country as per the Constitution. “Election is an important issue. The people will be able to know (through the public hearing) what happened on 30 December. The candidates will place their firsthand experiences.”

Front leader and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal president ASM Abdur Rab added that since Jamaat is not a component of the Front, it would not be there at the hearing.

Jamaat is a partner of the BNP-led 20-party alliance and the right wing party is likely to defect the alliance after two decades, party sources said.

The issue of apology from Jamaat to the nation for its opposition to the 1971 liberation war came to the fore in recent times and some Jamaat leaders even resigned.

Asked about apology, Kamal Hossain, the post-independence law minister who led the process of framing of the constitution, said, “I welcome the gesture of seeking apology.”

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