The demand for changing the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) is just unjust. Dr Kamal Hossain, a national leader and the head of a political party (however the size is) who played a vital role to bring the opposition in the election, should not have made demand that way. He knows the constitutional reality much more than I do. Since the Election Commission (EC) has been formed with the approval of the president and since it has been done having a lot of consultation as per desire of the political parties and since the election schedule has already been declared the demand for a change is really unjust and undesirable one.
Now the question that arises in the minds of the voters is whether Dr Kamal wants holding of the ensuing election or not. Could a person with a background of legal expertise make such a demand? It is believed that since Dr Kamal became the chief of Jatiya Oikyafront the issue of BNP’s joining the election was uncertain. It is because of Dr Kamal that the dialogue between the government and the Oikyafront although did not see the light of the day, the decision to participate in the election was taken within a short time. The people of the country felt a sigh of relief for that decision. It is presumed that Dr Kamal being a liberal democrat and a senior politician could rightly guess that in absence of a credible election what could be the reality of the country.
The decision of Dr Kamal was hailed by the ruling party and also by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself. She (PM) assured the opposition that she should do everything possible for an inclusive and participatory election and making it free and fair. And after that the election schedule has been declared. The political parties asked the aspirant candidates to submit nomination papers. The candidates applied duly with all formalities. The scrutiny by the party has been completed and the candidates have already submitted application to the returning officers. In such a situation the statement of Dr Kamal demanding for a change in the position of the CEC is opposite to the demand of what Dr Kamal has been telling and doing so far. It is believed that what was there in the back of his mind Dr Kamal had just expressed that.
Dr Kamal knows it well that code of conduct declared by the EC in the schedule has to be followed strictly. The demand for a delay of one month by the opposition has already been rejected. Our constitution does not permit more delay in its present perspective. So the demand for a change of the CEC means to reverse all that has been done so far. According to the election schedule 30 December is the date for election i.e., only 23 days are left. How could the authority that has been entrusted with the charge of holding the election be changed now to upset everything? Now is the time to send all the essentials that are required to send to the destination. It is not the time to remove the chief of a quasi-judicial institution like the EC.
May be there are someone who have got something contrary to the expectation of the people. In our country politics have been transformed into a bad game in which conspiracies play an important role. It is now apprehended that there may be something in someone’s sleeve concealed not visible. There may be a design to undo what have been done so far.
The conspiracy to make the election a failure may be there and the art of implementing it may be dubious. This may be an attempt to make result of the election foiled or even it may not be held in the manner which the people expect or may not be held at all. There is a quarter among the supporters of a caretaker government who did call for a national government. They may have their evil design to foil the election by any means. The ugly terrorist forces are there. Who knows what is going to happen? The first demand was to delay the date. Now the demand is the change of CEC. Who knows what the demands are next? The present reality is: the people are fully prepared for an election throughout the country. None could stop it.
Dr S A Malek is former political adviser to prime minister and a member of parliament, general secretary of Bangabandhu Parishad, and a columnist