6th Phase of Upazila polls 2014
29th May, 2014: The dominance of criminals in politics shows a rising trend, representing threat to the country’s democracy and rule of law, SHUJAN-Citizens for Good Governance said that while revealing the affidavit information of 465 newly elected upazila chairmen. On one hand, the tendency among criminals to become politicians has sharply increased; on the other, the tendency among political leaders to go for criminality has also marked a rise, said SHUJAN leaders, addressing a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity.
“Nowadays, political leaders are taking criminals and miscreants in the party for retaining their power. Taking this advantage, the criminals are coming in the front line of political leadership,” said Dr. Tofail Ahmed, a local government expert and executive member of SHUJAN.
People, parliament, local government bodies and everything else are in the grip of “criminal leadership”, which is alarming, he added. He said miscreants were amassing fortune through tender manipulation, drug trade and shady land business, and putting the money in politics.
Mr. Tofail stressed the need for proper scrutiny of the aspiring candidates’ affidavits before elections.
SHUJAN Secretary Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar said that criminals and musclemen are winning in local government and national elections; people could not expect rule of law from them.
Replying to a query on the Anti-Corruption Commission chief’s remarks on Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), Majumdar said, “It is not acceptable in any way. He works in a statutory body. He can’t give threat to harass anyone.” ACC Commissioner Md. Shahabuddin on questioned the transparency of TIB’s activities in spending foreign funds other day.
The SHUJAN report on the 465 upazila chairmen-elect shows that 133 are accused of different cases, while 25 face murder cases. Some 228 chairmen are businessmen.
At least 265 chairmen have completed graduation, while 59 could not complete secondary level education. About 103 chairmen’s wealth exceeds Tk 1 crore.
SHUJAN thinks that the influence of political parties and spinelessness of the EC are the main reasons for violence, irregularities, and ballot boxes stuffing in upazila elections. It demanded reconstitution of the EC for holding free, fair and neutral elections in future.
61 Journalists from different Newspaper Media and Electronic Media, Students, Academicians participated in the Press Conference.