Bangladesh ends two years of emergency rule

December 17th, 2008 - 10:34 am ICT by ANI  

Dhaka, Dec.17 (ANI): Bangladesh on Wednesday ended two years of emergency rule by restoring the fundamental rights of its people through an ordinance promulgated by President Iajuddin Ahmed on Monday.
A Daily Star newspaper report said that the government had also repealed the Emergency Powers Ordinance 2007 and Emergency Powers Rules 2007.
These laws were proclaimed to enforce emergency declared on January 11, 2007 amid political turmoil over the ninth parliamentary polls that were scheduled to be held on January 22, 2007.
The revocation of the ordinance carries some saving clauses meant to be helpful to the anti-graft measures taken under the emergency rules.
With the withdrawal of emergency rule, Articles 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 and 42 of the Constitution have become operative. These articles concern the freedom of movement, assembly, association, thought and conscience, speech, profession or occupation, and rights to property.
Effective December 17, political parties and candidates will carry out electioneering for the December 29 general election without having to face any restrictions.
The government on the other hand will seek to put in place foolproof security measures to deal with the post-emergency period. It has already worked out some plans for that, most local dailies said.
The military will start rolling out of the barracks tomorrow. The deployment designed to aid the civil administration in maintaining law and order in the run-up to the election will be complete by December 20.
Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed said that armed forces will be deployed in several areas to ensure that voters exercise their franchise without any fear.
“Army will work as striking force enabling a voter to go to the election centre without any fear and the voters should feel free to cast votes at their own choice,” Moeen was quoted as saying by the national news agency BSS.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission will meet with law enforcement officials to discuss security arrangements for the polls, EC Secretariat sources said.
The withdrawal of emergency comes in the wake of the immense pressure mounted on the caretaker administration by political parties and rights organisations in the run-up to the polls.
The country’’s Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda was quoted as saying that he does not see any problems with holding the parliamentary election.
Analysts have cautioned the political parties to conduct themselves responsibly, as they have been blamed in the recent past for various acts of commission that led to imposition of emergency.
Bangladesh was last placed under emergency rule in 1990 by former military strongman and president H.M. Ershad on November 27 of that year. Emergency rule was in place till December 6, the day Ershad was forced to quit the presidency following a popular uprising. (ANI)

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