Political parties refused registration by the Election Commission (EC) have the right to protest peacefully, Election Commissioner Md Anisur Rahman said today (25 July) in response to protests and ultimatums from the Gono Odhikar Parishad.
Earlier on the day, party leaders had threatened to besiege the EC offices after being disqualified from the race for registration.
"What will they do? If you [Gono Odhikar] surround us, we will remain surrounded," EC Anisur said while speaking to reporters about the ultimatum at his office in Agargaon on Tuesday.
He suggested that frequent political events are natural before the upcoming national election.
The commissioner stated that there is nothing to be anxious about such threats while also regretting the sufferings of common people due to political movements.
Regarding registering new parties, Commissioner Anisur clarified that they had allowed time until 26 July to raise objections against qualified registrations. Some political parties have lodged objections, and the commission would address these issues in discussions scheduled for the coming day.
Meanwhile, he acknowledged that some parties might have grievances, but he affirmed their right to protest peacefully.
The ultimatum given
Earlier, Gono Odhikar Parishad Member-Secretary Nurul Haque Nur announced a march program to besiege the EC office today after being disqualified from the race for registering his party.
However, they had to end the programme at 2:30pm after being blocked by the police in the capital's Banglamotor.
At the time, Nurul Haque Nur, president of a section of the Gono Odhikar Parishad, issued a seven-day ultimatum to the EC.
Insisting that the Gono Odhikar Parishad should be registered as a political party, he said, "If the EC does not reconsider its decision by this time, we will see the end of it."
He also warned that the group would announce a new program if their demands were not met.
During a 45 minutes Banglamotor assembly, guarded by police, Nur said, "The future of Bangladesh will be decided within the next two months. Initially, the opposition parties will hold peaceful programmes. However, activists will give a reply if the police attempt to obstruct or attack them to foil their events."
Addressing the police, Nur urged them to recognise that they are paid with the people's money and not with funds from the Awami League.
"You are paid with people's money not with Awami League's. So it is high time you join the cause of mass people as the time of this government is over," he said.
Speaking of a new office for Gono Odhikar Parishad, the former Ducsu leader said, "We have already been promised Tk73 lakh for purchasing our new office. We plan to buy a new office at Tk1-1.5 crore."
Later, a four-member party team, led by Senior Joint Convener Rashed Khan, went to the EC office to submit a protest letter.
Earlier, the activists commenced their procession from the party's central office at Culvert Road, Bijoynagar in the capital around 1:00pm. Their procession journeyed through Paltan, Zero Point, Secretariat area, Motsho Bhavan, Shahbagh, eventually reaching Banglamotor intersection, where the police halted their progress.