Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) Election 2011 Introduction: Narayanganj City Corporation Election 2011 was held at 30th November 2011. Ignoring Election Commissioner’s requirement of troops to maintain law and order, the government did not deploy the army during Narayanganj City Corporation election. There were 6 Mayoral candidates and 252 Councilor candidates for contesting the election. Over 4 lakh voters exercised their franchises to decide the fate of the candidates seeking the offices of mayor and councilors.
The polling centers were opened at 8 a. . and closed at 4 p. m. By declining to meet the EC’s requirement for army deployment in the NCC polls, the government has clearly ignored the constitutional provision that gives the EC a guarantee of all assistance from all executive authorities to perform its functions. Narayanganj Municipality was constituted on 8 September 1876 to control an area of 4. 5 square miles with a population of 27,876. In 1952, the area of Narayanganj Municipality was extended up to 7.
5 sq miles by a declaration of the Dhaka Judge court.Election Commission’s Role: Success of an Election Commission lies on ensuring the participation of all the valid candidates in the poll. Under Chapter VII of our constitution, Election Commission is a constitutional organization. As per article 119 Clause 2(1) of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and other laws, it is the constitutional obligation of the EC to conduct the elections of the president, parliaments as well as the local government. Under article 118 (2) of the constitution, EC is stated to be independent for discharging its function only subject to the constitution and any other law.Election Commission Followed the legal obligation to hold the polls within 180 days since May 5, the day Narayanganj was declared a city corporation. It had been a demand of the candidates to deploy Army at election centers and the election Commissioners promised to do so but at the eleventh hour it was informed that Army would not be deployed.
Election Commission claimed its attempt before the government to appoint Army for NCC election but the government did not respond. Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda said the government is constitutionally obliged to meet the EC’s requirement.The commission would not take the responsibility for any disturbances during the vote. The commission held an emergency meeting to assess the overall situation and expressed dissatisfaction at the government’s last-minute refusal to deploy the army, meeting sources said.
After that the Commission asked the home ministry to deploy more Rab and police personnel in Narayanganj city to beef up security. Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Sakahwat Hossain warned the administrative officials involved in Narayanganj City election against showing favour to any candidate.Constitutional Violation: Narayangonj City Corporation polls in November 30, the Government did not comply with the request of the Election Commission to deploy the Army. Article 126 of the Constitution of Bangladesh stipulates that “It shall be the duty of all Executive authorities to assist the Election Commission in the discharge of its functions.
” The Election Commission should be strengthened to act independently in all situations to hold free, fair and credible elections under the Constitution of Bangladesh.Dr Kamal Hossain, who led the drafting of the constitution in 1972, said that avoiding deployment of the army in Narayanganj despite the Election Commission’s requisition was a clear violation of Article 126 of the constitution. ‘Article 126 says, “It shall be the duty of all executive authorities to assist the Election Commission in the discharge of its functions” and the Awami League-led government did not conform to the obligation,’ he said. Law and Legislation: 1st election of Naraynganj City Corporation was held under the Local Government (City Corporation) Act,2009.A bill was submitted by the government to the Parliament of Bangladesh for amending the Local Government (City Corporation) act,2009 at the date of 23rd November,2011. According to the constitution, “It shall be the duty of all executive authorities to assist the EC in the discharge of its functions. The Local Government (City Corporation) Act made by the present also clearly provides a legal framework for deployment of the army in the NCC polls.
The act includes the army, air force and navy under the definition of law enforcement agencies, along with police, armed police battalion, Rab,Ansars, Battalion ansars, Border Guard Bangladesh and Coast Guard. So, once deployed in election duties, members of the armed forces can exercise the powers of the police in arresting anyone without a warrant within a 400-yard radius of a polling station. Law Enforcement Agencies : Under article 60 Clause 2(1) of Local Government (City Corporation) Act,2009, Some 5,500 members of law-enforcing agencies were deployed during the election of Narayanganj City Corporation(NCC).
Around 4,000 additional forces were discharged their duties along with some 1,500 local law enforcers during the city corporation polls.Boarder Guard Bangladesh (BGB) members were not there during the NCC polls, but a total of 600 RAB members were deployed in the election areas. Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hossain said that the law enforcers were there for five days, two days before polls, the election-day and two days after the polling in the NCC areas. According to local Government (City Corporation law) law enforcement agencies including police, armed police battalion, Rab, ansar, Battalion ansar, Border Guard Bangladesh, Coast Guard and the Defence Services of Bangladesh will remain under the authority of EC.Prime Minister’s say : Defending government’s decision, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the constitution had not been violated by not deploying the army in the Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) election. Quoting article 126 of the constitution, Hasina said that according to the constitution, the government would provide executive assistance to the EC as and when required.
Hasina said the army is not under the jurisdiction of the Home Ministry. Only the Prime Minister, who is in charge of the Armed Forces Division, has theauthority to deploy the army. So, the constitution was not violated,” she said while speaking at a discussion marking Jail Killing Day at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital. Hasina said the army was not under the jurisdiction of the Home Ministry.
Only the prime minister, who is in charge of the Armed Forces Division, has the authority to deploy the army. “The EC sent the letter requesting the deployment of the army when I was abroad on my official visits,” she said. The premier said there was no situation during the NCC polls that necessitated the deployment of the army.The premier said the government had amended the constitution to establish the fact that the people are the supreme authority to bring about any change in the structure of power. She urged the people to protect their voting rights with united efforts.
All eyes on edgy N’ganj At A Glance Mayoral candidates: 6; Councillor candidates: 252; Voters: 4. 04 lakh (Male- 2. 03, Female-2. 08); Voting hour: 8:00am-4:00pm; Wards: 27; Voting centres: 163; EVM at centres: 58; Voting rooms: 1,217; Security personnel: 5,000; Mobile Courts: 36; Polls observers: Over 1,000; Total EC staff: 3,814