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Mohammad Zakaria
The Election Commission (EC) is making all-out efforts for free, fair, and credible national polls, set for December 30.
As the EC, an independent constitutional body, is assigned to ensure that people exercise their voting rights, it has been working hard since before the announcement of the 11th parliamentary election schedule. The commission has taken the December 30 general elections as a challenge as it wants to prove that it is possible to arrange free, fair and impartial elections under a political government.
However, different vested quarters at home and abroad are engaged in spreading falsehood against the constitutional institution, in order to make it controversial.
As part of their evil design, these quarters want to foil the national election by making the EC controversial.
As part of making the EC and Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda controversial, Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain on Sunday demanded resignation of the CEC.
He also demanded appointment of a personality with credibility and acceptability to all political parties, and the common people as well.
“The Election Commission will give a befitting reply through conducting the forthcoming national election. As an independent and constitutional institution, the commission is working freely. There is no ruling party interference here. If anybody or any quarter raises question about the EC’s activities, the EC doesn’t have headache,” a high up of the EC told Bangladesh Post.
He added, the commission is working round the clock to create a level playing field in a bid to ensure participation of all political parties in the elections.
As part of its latest activities, the commission has already held several special meetings with election officials, returning officers, assistant returning officers, police administration, and magistrates.
Besides, the EC held a meeting Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) and representatives of mobile operators to prevent any kind of false and fabricated news or post in social media through using internet.
The EC is determined to hold free, fair and participatory elections in the country as it wants none to raise any question over the upcoming parliamentary polls.
“The commission has asked all authorities concerned to take punitive steps against any kind of irregularities which violates the electoral code of conduct in the polls,” he added.
The EC warned election officials and law enforcement personnel to perform their duties properly, he also said.
If the commission finds any allegation and proof against them, they will be punished, he added.
The commission has decided to deploy army any day after December 15, along with other law enforcement agencies, to maintain law and order to make the polls peaceful.
The EC has already asked returning officers and the administration to ensure security of voters including the minorities.
The commission will use electronic voting machine (EVMs) in six parliamentary constituencies in city corporation areas on experimental basis.
As per the demands of the opposition alliance, the EC rescheduled the 11th parliamentary election date.
According to the polls schedule, the last day of filing nomination papers is November 28. The nomination paper would be scrutinized on December 2, and the last day of withdrawal is December 9.