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Dhaka Tribune

DU: No evidence of irregularities in Ducsu polls

University denies allegations of vote rigging at the Ruqayyah Hall

Update : 16 Mar 2019, 08:00 PM

The Dhaka University authorities, in a press release, have provided detailed explanations regarding allegations of vote rigging and irregularities during the recently held Ducsu polls.

"A particular group is trying to serve their own political interest by spreading rumours and creating confusions regarding the Ducsu polls among the people of the country and the general students while questioning the peaceful atmosphere prevailing in the country and the university. They want to create unrest in the campus,” reads a statement in the press release.

The ten-point press release addressed all the allegations made against the university authorities during the polls and rejected all of them except the incident of Maitree Hall where a bag full of pre-cast ballots were recovered.

“A five-member probe has been formed, and the upon further investigation and the report submitted by committee the university authority is determined to take exemplary action against the culprits of this incident,” the release further said. 

“The Maitree Hall incident is very tragic and painful. However, the recovery of the pre-cast ballots prior to the start of voting made sure any major collapse in the voting process will be avoided. Addressing the issue, the honourable vice-chancellor suspended voting in Maitree Hall. Responding to the allegations, the acting provost of the concerned hall was suspended immediately and voting was resumed under the supervision of a new provost shortly after. Accusing the university administration of secrecy or negligence in this matter is ridiculous,” stated the release.

However, denying all allegations of irregularities and vote rigging at the Ruqayyah Hall, the press release said: “The news of recovering ballot papers at the Ruqayyah Hall is untrue and was portrayed to everyone in a very confusing and unclear manner. The ballot papers were not in the ballot box, neither they were marked or used. They were kept in designated trunks so that when ballots run out, the concerned teachers can take them out and use them, ensuring continuation of the voting process. There were total six ballot boxes in which voters were supposed to submit their ballot papers. Unused and intact ballots were kept in three ballot trunks for further use, if necessary, by the teachers. So the claim of three ballot boxes carrying rigged votes and being hidden is absurd and completely untrue.”

“Despite all the allegations and attempts to create unrest and question peaceful voting environment prevailed during the Ducsu polls. The students, who cherish the values of the university, thwarted such attempts,” the university claimed.

After 28 years, Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) and hall union elections were held on Monday, March 11.

In the Ducsu polls quota reform movement leader Nurul Haq Nur was elected vice president, Bangladesh Chhatra League General Secretary Golam Rabbani won the post of general secretary, and Saddam Hussain was elected as the assistant general secretary.

Ducsu in history

Ducsu was formed a year after Dhaka University was established in 1921. Student leaders of the university were at the forefront of the Language and Independence movements.

Although Ducsu elections are supposed to be held every year, there have only been six since the independence of Bangladesh. The polls reportedly stopped being held frequently as successive university administrations and governments attempted to maintain their dominance on the DU campus.

University authorities have repeatedly reneged on their promise to hold the election since Ducsu was formally dissolved on May 28, 1998.

The last Ducsu election was held on June 6, 1990, during the tenure of former military dictator—and current main opposition in parliament—HM Ershad, as president. The student body played a crucial role in ousting the dictator.

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