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Police asked to debar political rallies till Jan 7

Staff Reporter:

The home ministry yesterday asked police to debar political rallies or other such activities from Decem-ber 18 until the end of the January 7 elections in line with the Election Commission directives.
“The Election Commission (EC), within the purview of the Constitution, has mandated the closure of political meetings and gatherings from December 18,” Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told a news briefing at his office.
According to the EC’s instructions, the candidates would be allowed to launch their election campaign from December 18 and from that date until the end of voting, all forms of meetings, rallies, or events that might disrupt the election process or discourage the voters from participating are strictly prohibited.
EC officials, meanwhile, said the directive was conveyed as well to the candidates and concerned politi-cal parties.
Kamal said his ministry would enforce the EC decision regarding the ban on rallies and political pro-grams.
The minister’s briefing came shortly after Public Security Division of the ministry sent a letter to po-lice’s Inspector General Chowdhury Abdullah Al Mamun conveying him of the EC order received by the ministry earlier yesterday.
According to the EC letter, the candidates could carry on their campaign without holding public meet-ings or assembly that may hinder the election environment or discourage the voters from voting.
Asked for comments on the justification of the EC directive, the home minister said being a constitu-tional body when they gave a directive, they gave it taking into account their constitutional mandate.
“I think the EC felt it was right. I think that’s why the EC gave the instructions so that the election could be held in a free, fair and peaceful atmosphere,” Kamal said.
He added: “We understand that the Election Commission will carry out its assigned duties properly so that the elections are not disrupted.”

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