Jatiya Oikya Front leader Dr Kamal Hossain has demanded that Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda be replaced, saying he is unable to play an impartial role in the election process. He raised the demand at a news conference at the National Press Club on Saturday. Also the chief of Gono Forum, Dr Kamal said: “We could not be satisfied during our discussions with the chief election commissioner and so we demand that he be replaced with someone more credible.”
Asked whether he asked for the CECs resignation or his removal, he said: “We have called for his resignation for some time. We dont want him to be removed, we want him replaced.”
They do not have any problems giving the CEC more time.
“He [the CEC] can also change our minds by his actions. We will do so if we see that he is now playing an impartial role.”
The BNP, the largest component in the Jatiya Oikya Front, has persistently questioned Hudas tenure as the head of the Election Commission. It has complained to the EC about the harassment and arrest of its party leaders and activists.
But CEC Huda dismissed the allegations on Saturday, saying that police were not making arrests without reason.
Oikya Front Spokesperson and BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told the media on Sunday: “The things he said yesterday are horrific – the police are under our control and are following our orders – this means that the false cases and harassment are being made on their orders. That means there is no level playing field. But we will still go to the polls and continue to fight.”
Asked about the arrests, Dr Kamal told the media to provide solid information that could be investigated to see whether law enforcers were acting as supporters of the ruling party.
“The manner in which people are being arrested and detained are not conducive to a free and fair election. We say that these wholesale arrests need to be stopped.”
He showed the media a picture of the arrest of former Cumilla MP and BNP leader Monirul Haque Chowdhury.
Police must act as an impartial state force, he said.
“There are mass arrests,” said Kamal. “We will show statistics of how many are being jailed. There isnt any space to keep them. This is not a fair election environment.”