November 22, 2006

Breaking News: The Chief Election Commissioner agrees to leave

Another political deadlock crippling Bangladesh for the third day over the resignation of the Chief election Commissioner M A Aziz. Many political parties were opposing Aziz because of the clear evidence of bias by the election commission lead by him towards the then ruling party. The election commission is also accused of incompetence and lack of transparency in the whole process of creating the voter list and in addressing the complaints (More in Drishtipat). It may be noted that the government raised the retirement limit of the judge to place Aziz constitutionally.

The BNP and four parties' alliance who have just completed their five year tenure were supporting Aziz and were demanding that no unconstitutional measure should be taken to remove Aziz. It became a matter of a political game as BNP was seeing that if Aziz resigns over opposition pressure that marks their defeat.

However people are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Reports say that CEC Aziz agreed to take 3 months leave of absence to enable another person to take his place. BBC has also hinted it. The president is supposed to deliver a speech to the nation confirming the decision and naming the person(s) who will replace Aziz. Another report says that the President is waiting for the official application for leave from Aziz.

However this has come with a price. Violence has spread across the country leaving many people dead. Sporadic clashes between political parties marked the day.

I hope this drama ends with a positive promise, to ensure a free and fare election.


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