Friday, May 24, 2019 | ePaper

DUCSU polls and the role of the election riggers nationally

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The pre-dawn announcement of DUCSU polls results led to daylong chaos, agitation and drama on Dhaka University campus on Tuesday with the vice president-elect and BCL shifting their stances, as per media reports.

A VP candidate backed by the pro-ruling party organisation, Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon, said he would accept the result and extend their all-out support to the leader of quota reform movement. And Nurul Haq Nuru withdrew the class boycott, saying Shovon personally regretted the attack on him earlier in the day.

An hour and a half later, things took a new turn when he demanded re-election to all the posts of DUCSU. Hours before his decision of withdrawing the class boycott, Nuru had told reporters that he wanted re-election to all the DUCSU posts ‘except the VP and social welfare secretary’.

But Liton Nandi, leftist panel's VP candidate, threatened to go for tougher movement if the university administration does not come up with the announcement of re-polls in three days. Both Nuru and Liton boycotted the election when the voting was still underway on Monday. It is very unfortunate that contestants from most student wings boycotted the March 11 DUCSU election over allegations of massive irregularities and they also demanded fresh polls. Many irregularities have been reported in the media like the periodic halts orchestrated at some polling centres as well as long queues of students.

General students and witnesses also reported various wrongdoings such as rigging, preventing voters from casting ballots and filling boxes with marked ballot papers.

It is so disappointing that the election of Dhaka University Students' Union is following same pattern of sabotaging the election process as had happened at the national election. It is clear that free and fair election is not to be expected where politics plays a big role.

Universities are places where students are supposed to get lessons of honesty and morality. In the past, there were many teachers who were ready to take any risk for the good of the students.

But in Monday's election, we have witnessed a completely different picture in which teachers set an example of how the students can be robbed of their voting rights by arranging an engineered election. It was as if they were teaching the students that honesty is not to have any place for reasons of political selfishness.

We need a nationwide activism against national politics of the corrupt self-seekers. We deserve to be a decent nation where corrupt and characterless ones must not have the courage and cooperation to have their way.

In fact the challenge we face is to uphold the values of free and fair election at universities as well as at the national level. Those who deny free election are denying accountability. This cannot be the idea of building a responsible and just nation.

We welcome the emergence of a non-party force among the students of Dhaka University as revealed in the DUCSU election. It is good for the students not to see their leaders as activists of political parties.

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