EC to write to PMO, Speaker seeking action against Mymensingh MP Sharif Ahmed for ‘threatening’ election official

A lawmaker of the ruling Awami League is facing allegations of threatening a returning officer for not ‘facilitating the victory’ of the party’s mayoral candidate.

Moinul Hoque Chowdhurybdnews24.com
Published : 20 Jan 2016, 10:57 AM
Updated : 20 Jan 2016, 11:23 AM

The Election Commission has decided to write to the prime minister’s office and Parliament Speaker seeking action against Mymensingh-2 MP Sharif Ahmed.

“Fulpur municipality polls Returning Officer Subrata Pal’s complaint was forwarded to us by the Cabinet division, which was sent to it by the district administration,” Election Commissioner Abu Hafiz told bdnews24.com.

“Since the elections are over, the commission will now write to the relevant authorities, drawing their attention to the matter,” he added.

“The MP had ordered the officer to ensure the victory of the ruling party candidate. Of late he has been threatening him.”

Hafiz said the EC at a meeting on Tuesday decided to write to the principal secretary to the prime minister and the Speaker in order to draw their attention to the matter.

Mymensingh -2 MP Sharif Ahmed dismissed the allegations of threatening the returning officer. File photo

At the Dec 30 election in Fulpur municipality, the BNP-nominated candidate Aminul Haque emerged victorious by defeating the ruling party’s Shashadhar Sen.

Returning Officer Subrata Pal declared the results on the same day.  He had earlier show-caused the Awami League candidate for violation of the code of conduct during the campaign.

“My house was attacked with bombs on the evening of Dec 30, when the results were being declared. And it was not even reported in the media,” Pal told bdnews24.com on Tuesday.

EC officials said that the district administration in its note to the Cabinet Division mentioned that the local MP had tried to intimidate election official.

It said that the ruling party MP had repeatedly called the returning officer over phone and even threatened him.

The MP, however, said that the returning officer had taken steps like penalising the Awami League candidate and withdrawing the local police station OC without any valid reasons.

“I was not there during the elections, but the returning officer was not impartial,” MP Sharif Ahmed told bdnews24.com on Wednesday.

He dismissed the allegations of threatening the returning officer.

The Election Commission, however, says it has taken the matter ‘seriously’.

“We are initiating proper measures after receiving the Cabinet Division’s letter,” said Commissioner Abu Hafiz.

This is not the first time that the EC has had to write to the prime minister’s office (PMO) on such issues.

It wrote to the PMO earlier, drawing attention to the “misconduct” of State Minister for Youth and Sports Biren Sikder during the Magura by-polls and Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu in the Upazila elections.

Similar letters were sent during the Chittagong City Corporation election in April last year against Housing and Public Works Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain and state ministers, Saifuzzaman Chowdhury and Bir Bahadur Ushwe Singh.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher