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ALCWC to maintain associate organizations PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 12 October 2008

Staff Correspondent

The Awami League central working committee (ALCWC) has decided to uphold "all the associate organisations" and overseas units of the party.

The CWC also demanded scrapping of two clauses of the Election Commission Act, giving the EC powers to cancel candidature and declaring utility bill defaulters unfit, the party's acting general secretary said Saturday.
"The powers of the EC to cancel candidature after the returning officer approves the nomination paper are not acceptable," Syed Ashraful Islam told a press conference after a meeting of the committee.
"This law has to be withdrawn."
He told a press conference that the CWC also wanted the forthcoming national elections to follow the previous demarcation of constituencies.
Adjourned till Monday morning, the meeting, held at the AL president's Dhanmondi office, was chaired by senior presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury.
Presidium members Abdur Razzak, Tofail Ahmed, Motia Chowdhury, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim were among those present.
"A decision has been made to keep the party's associate orgnisations and overseas branches," the acting general secretary said.
Presidium member Tofail Ahmed will head a powerful committee to recommend changes to the party constitution.
All other members of the presidium, advisory council members Hossain Toufique Imam, Abul Maal Abdul Muhit and six central committee members will join the former commerce and industries minister in the exercise.
This past week has seen the party debate, often publicly, whether to keep the so-called "associate" organisations.
The acting general secretary on Monday said there would be no associate organisations.
On Thursday acting president Zillur Rahman said such organisations would definitely stay.
Later advisory council member H T Imam said Friday night: "In the draft amendment to the party constitution, a recommendation has been made to scrap the associate organisations."
In Saturday's press conference, the AL acting general secretary defended his party's demand that the gazette notification on re-demarcation of the constituencies be withdrawn.
"Many leaders and workers still do not know in which parliamentary constituency they belong. So for the sake of fair election national polls have to be held keeping the former boundary intact."
The provision of disqualifying bill defaulters, Syed Ashraf said, will also have to be cancelled.
The amended Representation of the People Ordinance gives the EC the authority to cancel candidacy (section 91E) and disqualify those who have defaulted on payment of telephone, gas, power and other such bills.
On Upazila election, he said, "The Awami League is pledge-bound to people to hold Upazila elections if it is voted to power. But holding Upazila election immediately after the national election is not logical.
"We demand the dates be deferred and there be a logical timetable."
Chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed on September 20 announced Dec 18 for Jatiya Sangsad election and Dec 24 and 28 for Upazila election.
Syed Ashraf said the party's nomination process had yet to start.
He said as per the party constitution AL's nomination process would start from grassroots level.
Demanding withdrawal of all cases against Sheikh Hasina and her release, the acting general secretary said, "Awami League will not go to election without Sheikh Hasina."
He demanded withdrawal of the state of emergency and release of all detained leaders and workers of the AL.

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