Schedule to be announced by the second week of February
Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) and hall union elections are likely to be held by March 31, Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman has reiterated.
Prof Akhtaruzzaman was speaking to reporters at the VC lounge after a meeting with Paribesh Parishad that began around 11am at university’s Abdul Matin Chowdhury digital classroom on Monday.
The vice-chancellor had first announced this time frame at the Parishad’s first meeting on September 16 last year.
The four-hour meeting of Paribesh Parishad (Environment Council) discussed amending both the Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) and Hall Union constitutions; along with the electoral code of conduct for the polls.
“The polls will be held by March 31 and the time-frame won't be exceeded,” Akhtaruzzaman said.
“Both committees for amending constitutions and introducing electoral code of conduct filed their recommendations and reports in this regard. We can finalize those acts after holding a Syndicate meeting and pass it through this body's decision,” he added.
“We all agree to the point that everyone who is able to be a voter can be candidate,” the DU VC added.
Newly appointed Chief Returning Officer Prof SM Mahfuzur Rahman told journalists on Sunday that the election schedule would be announced on the first or second week of February.
Ruling Awami League's student front Bangladesh Chhatra League General Secretary Golam Rabbani expected that the polls might be held properly.
Rabbani said: “Teachers', officers' and staffs' forum elections are held properly at the university. So there is no chance of irregularities in these students' polls.”
“We always appreciate participation of all the student organizations including Chhatra Dal in the election,” he added.
He further said: “We have recommended giving the opportunity to regular students of DU to be candidates, those who got admitted through admission tests,those on their way to complete studiesand even MPhil PhD students, except those doing evening degrees.”
Student wing of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) - Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal General Secretary Akramul Hasan said: “We have recommended that everyone should be given an opportunity to be a candidate and cast vote in the elections.”
“We also recommended that the polling centres be placed in academic buildings, not inside the residential halls. We are concerned about the vote rigging or booth capturing,” he added.
“Polling instruments should be kept under surveillance of CCTV cameras from the night before the voting day,” Akram said.
In the meeting, Akramul asked the authorities to amend the constitutions to reduce the supremacy of Ducsu president as DU VC was holding the post by default, according to the constitution.
He further said: “We have come here today without any protocol and are standing here without any fear. We are convinced by this environment that has been ensured by the authorities. We want the co-existence to be ensured across the campus and urge other student organizations to cooperate with us for experiencing full co-existence.”
Akramul said Chhatra Dal keeps the mentality of any kind of consideration, if co-existence would be ensured.
DU Vice-Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzman, the pro-VCs (academic and administration), the treasurer, the proctor, assistant proctors, provosts, and hall wardens were present at the meeting.
The council- Paribesh Parishad aims to discuss and finalize the Ducsu election preparations and the electoral environment of the university with student organizations.
This is the second meeting, during the tenure of incumbent VC Akhtaruzzman, where active political students’ organizations' central, as well as university, units were invited to exchange views regarding Ducsu polls.
The Ducsu constitution was last amended in 1998.
Paribesh Parishad, a platform comprised of the university authority and the students’ organizations, used to maintain a congenial atmosphere on the campus towards holding the student union polls.
Bangladesh Chhatra League central unit’s President Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon, DU unit President Sonjit Chandra Das and General Secretary Md Saddam Hussain, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal’s DU unit President AL-Mehedi Hasan Talukder and General Secretary Abul Bashar Siddique, Chhatra Union central President GM Jilani Shuvo and General Secretary Liton Nondi, its DU unit President Foez Ullah and General Secretary Rajib Das were present, among others.