SCBA election results not in government’s hands: Justice Minister

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Justice Minister Anisul Huq told Jatiya Sangsad on Thursday that issues related to the Supreme Court Bar Association’s election results would be settled by senior members and former leaders of the association.

He said SCBA did not work with government instruction.

The Justice Minister made the remarks in response to criticism from BNP lawmaker Md Harunur Rashid over the non-announcement of the SCBA election result.

The Justice Minister said the SCBA at a meeting on Wednesday decided that the association’s former presidents and secretaries and senior leaders would hold discussions on how to settle the matter.

Participating in a discussion on a bill, BNP MP Harunur Rashid said earlier that SCBA results had not been announced even two weeks after the election.

This is an unprecedented event in Bangladesh’s 50-year history, he said.

‘It is not possible. It’s a big shame,” Harun said. Harun then walked out to protest the enactment of the Local Government (Municipality) (Amendment) Bill 2021.

The Minister of Justice said that the members of the SCBA and the candidates, who took part in the election, had objections to the counting of the votes. The association will decide what will happen in this regard.

He said the government should not be blamed for this.

Criticizing the BNP MP’s walkout, Anisul Huq said the MP left parliament with the wrong motive.

“BNP lawmaker Harunur Rashid quit parliament using a wrong motive without going through the law,” the justice minister said.

Calling the BNP MP’s walkout an “irresponsible” decision, he said the BNP MP had protested a provision in the bill that allowed for the appointment of an administrator in a municipality.

The administrator will be appointed only to hold elections in municipalities within a maximum period of 180 days, according to the law, he said.

The enactment of the law will ensure timely municipal elections, the justice minister said.

Harun is an elected member of parliament and therefore he has a responsibility to the people in his constituency, Anisul added.

We have seen that the presidents of certain municipalities go to court at the end of their mandate and restrict the holding of the next election, he said.

Some presidents have remained in office until age 15 or 16, taking advantage of a clause in existing law that stipulated that the current president would remain in office until the next election, he said.

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