Concern expressed about EC’s attempts at removing AL election candidates’ wealth statements

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Nine eminent citizens on Tuesday expressed grave concern about the Election Commission’s ‘ill attempts’ at make the wealth statements of candidates for the 10th general elections off-limits to people at the request of the ruling Awami League.
In a statement, they said that such an act would be suicidal and would hinder democratic advancement.
The signatories to the statement are the Ain o Salish Kendra executive director, Sultana Kamal, the Manusher Janya Foundation executive director, Shaheen Anam, the Nijera Kori coordinator, Khushi Kabir, the Centre for Policy Dialogue executive director, Mustafizur Rahman, the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers’ Association chief executive, Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust honorary director Sara Hossain, the Research Initiatives Bangladesh executive director, Meghna Guhathakurta, the PRIP Trust executive director Aroma Datta, and the Transparency International, Bangladesh executive director, Iftekharuzzaman.
‘The amassing of wealth by ministers and lawmakers in the past five years is evidently incompatible with known incomes of the ministers and lawmakers, and it (amassing of wealth) is illegal and unconstitutional,’ the statement said.
The nine citizens asked the Election Commission to immediately stop ‘all ill attempts’ at making such information off-limits to the public.
The chief election commissioner, Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad, on Monday said that the commission was looking into whether wealth statements of the ministers and lawmakers could be removed from its web site after the ruling Awami League had made such a request.
Election commissioners on Monday held a series of meetings at the EC secretariat to ways to entertain the Awami League’s request.
The Awami League on Sunday sent a delegation, led by its presidium member Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, to the Election Commission to request the commission to look into whether the commission could remove the wealth statements from its web site. They made the request although the commission is legally bound to make such information public.

SOURCE: http://www.newagebd.com/detail.php?date=2013-12-25&nid=78021#.UrqrzfRDuTM

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