Friday, October 26, 2007

EC makes no move on CHT local elections

Biplob Rahman
bdnews24.com Senior Reporter


The Election Commission has taken no initiative to hold elections to the regional and three district councils, administered under specialised rule, of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The EC, however, is preparing to hold polls to local government bodies in the rest of the country despite political parties saying that it is mandated to stage only parliamentary polls. Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda told bdnews24.com Friday morning that according to the CHT peace treaty and laws related to it, elections to those areas were to be held in line with a voter list prepared separately for the permanent residents of those areas. "But the voter list currently being prepared with photographs in the CHT is for the national elections," he added. bdnews24.com Senior Correspondent Biplob Rahman reports








Dhaka, Oct 26 (bdnews24.com) - The Election Commission has taken no initiative to hold elections to the regional and three district councils, administered under specialised rule, of the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

The EC, however, is preparing to hold polls to local government bodies in the rest of the country despite political parties saying that it is mandated to stage only parliamentary polls.

Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda told bdnews24.com Friday morning that according to the CHT peace treaty and laws related to it, elections to those areas were to be held in line with a voter list prepared separately for the permanent residents of those areas.

"But the voter list currently being prepared with photographs in the CHT is for the national elections," he added.

The CEC, in reply to a question, said that no decision had been taken on whether a separate voter list for permanent residents of the regional and council areas would be made once voter lists for the national election was prepared.

An official of the CHT Regional Council told bdnews24.com that council chairman Jyotirindra Bodhipriyo Larma alias Santu Larma had met CHT affairs adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury Tuesday.

"Santu Larma requested the adviser to speed up the CHT treaty implementation process," said the official, who did not want to be named as he was not authorised to brief the media.

Larma also demanded holding of the local and regional council elections, the official added.

In 1989, three separate district councils, each with five-year tenures, were established for Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban.

Elections to these councils, however, have not been held in the 18 years since their formation.

They have continued to function with government appointed 'interim' council heads, with permission of the courts.

bdnews24.com/br/ff/rm/bd/1331 hours

http://bdnews24.com/politics/2007/10/26/ec-makes-no-move-on-cht-local-elections