Monday, December 26, 2011

Workers Party for rules on EC formation

Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon on Monday urged President Zillur Rahman to formulate rules for appointing a new Election Commission.

Meanwhile, Anwar Hossain Manju-led Jatiya Party (JP-Manju) stressed the need for immediate constitution of a new Election Commission to continue the democratic trend. 

A 12-member delegation of JP-Manju told this to reporters emerging from a meeting held with the president at his residential office. 

During the meeting, the party also assured the president to provide the names of persons 'eligible and accepted by all' for the new EC. 

Earlier in the morning, another eight-man delegation of Workers Party headed by its President Rashed Khan Menon held dialogues with the president for about one hour and a half on the same issue.

“Our proposals were very specific that the president can appoint the chief election commissioner and other commissioners as per Article 118 of the Constitution,” Menon told reporters at Bangabhaban after a discussion with the president.

Menon said the president could either promulgate an ordinance about the rules for appointing the election commissioners according to Article 118 of the Constitution or the Parliament could pass a law in this regard.
As per the rules, he said the president would form a 'search committee' with people holding constitutional posts including the chief justice, chairman of Public Service Commission and comptroller and audit general.
The 'search committee' would select three men against the post of election commissioner and send the probable names to an all-party parliamentary committee, he added.

Menon said the parliamentary business committee will finalise the names after scrutiny of the list and then it will forward a shortlist to the president, who will appoint the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners.

Replying to a question, he said the president sought from them probable names of the commissioners and they told him that the names would be sent later.

About the BNP’s reluctance to join the dialogue with the president, Menon said main opposition BNP should provide their opinions and also explain why they would not attend the dialogue. 

“The country can’t remain still. They can discuss their issues in Parliament,” he said.

Describing the dialogue as fruitful, the Workers Party chief thanked the president for opening such dialogue on the appointment of the EC. “The president’s dialogue is a positive sign. All parties should accept it.”

An eight-member Workers Party delegation, led by Rashed Khan Menon, sat in the dialogue with the president at Bangabhaban around 11:00am. 

Welcoming the delegation, President Zillur Rahman said he called for the dialogue as he wants to take the decision on appointing the next EC after discussions with the country’s main political parties.

He mentioned that the tenure of the present EC will expire on February 14 next year and said that hopefully, such discussions will play an important role in forming the new EC.

'Anonymous' hackers hit US security firm Stratfor

The activist hacker group Anonymous says it has stolen thousands of emails, passwords and credit card details from a US-based security think-tank.

The hackers claim they were able to obtain the information because the company, Stratfor, did not encrypt it.
They say Stratfor's clients include the US defence department, law enforcement agencies and media organisations.

The Austin-based company says it has now suspended the operation on its servers and email.

An alleged member of Anonymous posted an online message, claiming that the group had used Stratfor clients' credit card details to make "over a million dollars" in donations to different charities. 

Stratfor later announced that it would keep its email and servers suspended for some time.

It also said the disclosure was "merely a list of some of the members that have purchased our publications and does not comprise a list of individuals or entities that have a relationship with Stratfor".

Anonymous has previously claimed responsibility for cyber attacks on financial institutions seen as enemies of the whistleblowing website Wikileaks.