Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday said the Election Commission (EC) does not have any authority to call out the army for election duty but could request the government for troop deployment if the law enforcement agencies fail to maintain order during polls.
“The Constitution has specified the responsibilities of the government and the Election Commission,” he told reporters after attending a meeting of the party’s foreign relations sub-committee at IEB auditorium here.
Obaidul Quader, also minister for road transport and bridges, said the army would be under the Defence Ministry during polls time as well when the law enforcement agencies would be under the EC jurisdiction and if the law enforcers fail to maintain order during polls, the commission could request the government to deploy army.
“If required, they can act as striking force. After assessing situation, the government would decide whether they (Army) would be given magistracy power or not,” Obaidul Quader said.
The minister said responsibilities of the government and the EC are stipulated in the Constitution. “We have no way to go beyond the constitution”, he continued.
About the treatment of BNP Chairperson Bgeum Khaleda Zia, who is imprisoned in former Dhaka Central Jail in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, Quader said Begum Zia remains well as the physicians are doing what is necessary for her treatment.
AL Presidium Member Lieutenant Colonel (retd) Muhammad Faruq Khan, Joint General Secretary Dr Dipu Moni, International Affairs Secretary Dr. Shammi Ahmed, sub-committee’s members Niaz Morshed Elite and Praloy Samadder, among others, were present on the occasion with former ambassador Mohammad Jamir in the chair.