High Court declares as valid election schedule for August 4; AL insists upazila elections cannot be held ahead of parliamentary polls; Chief Adviser: Process on for the release of BNP Chairperson; Foreign Adviser urges SAARC to become more effective
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  • Election Commissioner Brig. Gen. (retd). M. Sakhawat Hossain on July 27 stated that the draft voter list for Dhaka city had been put on display at the ward commissioners' and election offices so that the voters could point out any deficiencies in the information1. The High Court meanwhile declared the election schedule for August 4 as valid. It also declared as illegal the electoral rules disqualifying candidates using political affiliations in these elections2.

    The Awami League (AL) central committee meeting on July 29 took a tough stance against the upazila parishad elections. They insisted that these elections should not be held ahead of the parliamentary polls3. The AL has also termed as ‘illegal’ the steps taken by the Election Commission that barred the central leaders of all political parties from taking part in the local elections campaign4.

    The Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed on July 30 stated that the process was on for the release of former Prime Minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia. He also asserted that the caretaker government wanted to ensure that all political parties, especially the two major ones - BNP and the AL, participated in the next general elections5.

    Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury urged SAARC to become a more effective grouping in order to enable it to tackle the major regional and global problems like food security, trade, energy and climate change. He also stressed on the need for continued focus on poverty alleviation within the broad context of social development6. Both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh also stressed on the need to revive the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) to boost trade relations between the two south Asian countries7.

    In other developments, Gen. Deepak Kapoor concluded his 6-day trip to Bangladesh aimed at improving bilateral relations and boosting military ties between the two neighbouring countries8. The visiting British Minister for Communities and Local Government Hazel called for the holding of a free and fair election9. The World Bank meanwhile on August 1 approved a $130.7 million IDA credit in order to improve the quality of secondary education in Bangladesh10.

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