Stakeholders want Ducsu polls to continue while VC leaves the decision to stakeholders
On the eve of anniversary of Ducsu polls – held after 29 years on this day last year – many cast doubt over an election of the Dhaka University Central Students’ Union taking place this year.
Stakeholders, including the current Ducsu members and students, demanded continuation of the polls but feared history repeating itself, especially since no visible preparations were seen for a new election.
Ducsu and hall union polls were held this day last year after a grand preparation after holding discussions with political bodies and updating voters’ list.
Although discussions were held with different student wings to know their views on amending Ducsu constitution and ensuring co-existence, initiatives to hold fresh elections is yet to be taken.
Now, the Ducsu – that took charge on March 23, 2019 – only has 11 days to go until the expiration of its term.
When contacted for comments over the concerns, Dhaka University (DU) Vice-Chancellor Prof M Akhtaruzzaman told Dhaka Tribune: "Decision regarding fresh elections and overall situation will be taken by the different stakeholders. The issues demand more talks as the decision depends on it," he added.
"Participation and cooperation of many stakeholders is necessary to organize a discussion as well as polls. We are busy with multiple activities right now such as Mujib Birth Centenary and Independence Day celebrations," said Akhtaruzzaman, the ex-officio president of Ducsu and initiator of the polls after 29 years.
Stakeholders cast doubt
While talking to Dhaka Tribune, Ducsu Vice-President (VP) Nurul Haque Nur expressed fears over the Ducsu polls being held.
He said: "The VC is not interested in holding the polls. That is what I surmised after talking to him recently. He told me, big arrangements are necessary to hold the polls. Perhaps he is not getting the green signal from the government, in this regard."
Blaming ruling Awami League's student wing, Chhatra League, Nur said: "Democratic political environment of the campus has developed after Ducsu elections. Bangladesh Chhatra League fears their authoritarian power in the campus is diminishing. Hence, they do not want fresh polls."
Ducsu VP made a call to the general students to fight for their democratic rights.
Hasina Akter Eva, a third-year student of public administration department of the university, expressing the necessity of a student union, said: "We [the students] want allegation-free and neutral elections for Ducsu and hall unions. After we got Ducsu [last year], we got the space to finally express our respective opinions freely."
Echoing the VP, Ducsu Assistant General Secretary (AGS), Md Saddam Hussain said: "Democratic environment of politics has been established in the campus after an active Ducsu emerged, overcoming the defunctness of almost three decades."
Saddam, also the general secretary of Chhatra League's DU chapter, challenging the administration, said: "Ducsu polls are not the outcome of the generosity or mercy of DU authorities. It is not optional, but compulsory."
"The polls should be a calendar event held annually. The authorities have to give assurance to hold Ducsu elections. They have no way to be complacent after holding only one election after 29 years," AGS Saddam added.
It is to be noted that, according to the section 6(c) of Ducsu constitution, the office bearers of the union shall hold office for 365 days. In case the election could not be held in time, the elected members shall continue for a further period not exceeding 90 days or till holding of the election whichever is earlier and after which the union shall dissolve automatically.
The second last Ducsu elections were held on June 6, 1990.