Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda has said the existing environment is congenial for a competitive and participatory 11th parliamentary election slated for December 30.
“We had expected a competitive and participatory election, and our desire has been fulfilled. A congenial environment has been created which is visible through the submission of nomination papers,” he said.
The CEC said this while speaking at the inaugural programme of a workshop arranged for government officials at Nirbachan Bhaban in the city’s Agargaon area on Thursday.
The CEC has also said election code was not violated during the nomination filing process across the country.
“All, including influential persons and independent candidates, submitted their nomination papers to their respective returning officers in a disciplinary way and no one violated the electoral code of conduct” he said adding “They were all accompanied by 5-7 people while submitting their papers. There were some people outside, but it was not a motorcade or showdown.”
Huda went on saying, “We want to believe that those who are doing politics and contesting the election will abide by the electoral code of conduct during their electioneering.”
The nomination submission ended on Wednesday. There have been 3,079 nominations submitted for 300 seats throughout the country, according to the Election Commission.
The participation of the BNP and its allies in the election was uncertain before the schedule was announced, as they had boycotted the 10th election. Finally, all of the parties are contesting the election.
The BNP is still vocal in expressing their non-confidence in the EC but top leaders have pledged not to quit the election under any circumstances.
“Influential” candidates went to the returning officers’ offices and submitted the nominations in a disciplined manner, said Huda. He expressed his satisfaction on the overall election environment.
“No-one has violated the code of conduct as they came to submit the nomination. No-one has entered the office with more than seven people. It’s true some of them had a bigger number of supporters accompanying them but the supporters were waiting outside. It wasn’t like a showdown.”
The EC earlier gave directive not to bring along more than seven activists and supporters to the offices of returning officers and assistant returning officers. Punitive action will be taken in case of any ‘procession or showdown.’
As the candidates have followed the directive, Huda hoped the following steps in the election process will be done perfectly.
“I believe we have created an environment where it is expected that those contesting the election will abide by the code of conduct and those election officials working in the field will cooperate them,” he said.
There was no violence or confrontation throughout the country during the nomination submission. The candidates have submitted the forms in a pleasant environment, the CEC said.
“People from different political parties have embraced each other when they met at the returning officers’ offices. This shows the foundation of democracy.”
“Those of you who’ll be working at the field level must be aware not to prevent the hope and aspiration of the candidates. It is your duty to explain it to the presiding officers, assistant presiding officers and polling officers. You’re the ones to train them,” he told the election officials.
A list of more than 700,000 polling officers has been prepared, said the election officials. They will be appointed 10 days prior to the election.
Director General of Electoral Training Institute Mostafa Farook also spoke during the inaugural ceremony of the two-day workshop.