40 eminent citizens demand election by dissolving parliament

Dhaka Note Desk

17 December 2023

Forty prominent citizens of the country have demanded to dissolve the parliament before holding the 12th national elections, alleging that arrangements have been made for one-sided elections on 7 January.

In a joint statement on Sunday, they made this demand to the Election Commission (EC) and the government.

The statement reads, “We have noted with great concern that the government and EC are taking various steps to hold a one-sided election. Ahead of the elections, opposition party leaders have been arrested, tortured and sentenced in controversial proceedings to keep them out the polls race.”

“So only the ruling party-nominated candidates, dummy candidates and candidates loyal to the party will participate in the elections. People will be deprived of choosing the right public representatives through the elections.”

The statement said, “In the past two elections, we have seen that such rigged elections lead to the government being unaccountable, state institutions become subservient to the government, economic collapse, and the rule of law and good governance are damaged.”

“We call for cancelling the election schedule and holding the polls within the next 90 days after dissolving the parliament in the third week of January as per article 123(3)(b) of the constitution.”

“If done so, there will be sufficient time and opportunity to organise dialogues with opposition parties and come to an agreement to organise fair, impartial and competitive elections.”

The statement was signed by former caretaker government advisor M Hafizuddin Khan, retired judge of Appellate Division Justice Md Abdul Mateen, former governor of Bangladesh Bank Saleh Uddin Ahmed, former election commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hossain, former prof at Jahangirnagar University Anu Muhammad, former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder, former secretary Syed Margub Morshed, human rights activist Hamida Hossain, PRI Executive Director Ahsan H Mansoor, Dhaka University (DU) Prof Asif Nazrul; former banker Syed Abu Nasser Bakhtiar Ahmed, former ambassador ABM Sirajul Islam; photographer Shahidul Alam, Advocate Shahdeen Malik, Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (SHUJAN) Secretary Badiul Alam Mazumder,

DU Prof Shahnaz Huda, DU Prof Robayet Ferdous, former secretary Abdul Latif Mandal, author Prof Rehnuma Ahmed, DU Prof CR Abrar, prof and researcher of SOAS University of London Swapan Adnan, former director general of Power Cell Engineer BD Rahmatullah, Brotee CEO Sharmeen Murshid, journalist Kamal Ahmed, human rights activist Noor Khan Liton; Ain o Salish Kendra Executive Director Farooq Faisal, businessman Abdul Haque, Advocate Tabarak Hossain of Bangladesh Supreme Court, human rights activist Shireen Haque, East Delta University Vice-Chancellor Prof Muhammad Sikandar Khan, senior journalist Abu Saeed Khan, Secretary of SHUJAN’s Chattogram district committee Advocate Akhtar Kabir Chowdhury, Central Women’s University Vice Chancellor Prof Parveen Hasan, Clinical Neuroscience Centre and Bangladesh Disability Foundation Director Prof Naila Zaman Khan,

professor and researcher Mobaswer Hassan, human rights activist Hana Shams Ahmed, Chattogram University (CU) Associate Prof Maidul Islam, activist and CU teacher AR Razi, author Faiz Ahmad Tayyab, human rights activist and researcher Rozina Begum.