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Dhaka Tribune

EC to instruct govt not to meet with returning officers

As returning officers are under the commission’s jurisdiction, he said, the letter will be sent so as to ensure no more allegations are brought forth regarding the retuning officers meeting with government officials

Update : 21 Nov 2018, 12:57 AM

Election Commission (EC) Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said the commission will be sending a letter to all concerned divisions of the government instructing them not to call returning officers for any meeting.

As returning officers are under the commission’s jurisdiction, he said, the letter will be sent so as to ensure no more allegations are brought forth regarding the retuning officers meeting with government officials.

He made the statement when speaking to journalists after a meeting at the Election Commission Secretariat in Dhaka’s Agargaon on Tuesday. 

Earlier on Tuesday, BNP alleged that returning officers have been briefed at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to play a role on behalf of the ruling party in the upcoming general elections.

The party submitted five letters with various allegations and a nine-point demand to the Election Commission.

A BNP delegation, led by Joint Secretary General Moazzem Hossain Alal, handed the five letters signed by BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir to Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed for Chief Election Commissioner KM Nural Huda at latter’s office in Election Commission Secretariat around Tuesday noon.

In one letter, the BNP alleged that the returning officers were briefed at the Prime Minister’s Office on November 13 after the chief election commissioner CEC briefed them on the same day.

BNP said holding meeting with the returning officers at the PMO without commission’s permission after the announcement of the election schedule is clear violation of the Article 73 (2B) (VI) of the Representation of the People Order 1972. “It is a corrupt practice, which is punishable offense,” the letter said.

The party demanded legal action against the responsible officials in this regard following an investigation.

Four letters were sent seeking equal ground for all in the election, while another one was submitted demanding punitive action against four government officials including the Election Commission secretary and the Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner over the Naya Paltan violence that had occurred on November 14. 

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