Only a few days are left before the 11th national election slated for coming December 30. From yesterday, the final candidates of the political parties, taking part in the race to the Jatiya Sangsad, began electoral campaigns with respective part symbols allocated by EC. Through this, the real battle for what election actually means to the common people has began. On the penultimate day of 2018, the voters will choose their future leaders who will be representing them in the national parliament of the country. On this juncture, the entire country has put on a festive look coupled with high enthusiasm among the voters. From a mere street tea stall to the corporate office, election fever has taken over all debates and discussions. On its journey to hold the parliamentary election in a free, fair and credible manner, EC has so far played quite a neutral role even though there were some stray incidents. We hope EC will keep performing as such in the coming days too.
The parliamentary election this year is completely different from all other elections in the past in the sense that, for the first time in Bangladesh’s history, an inclusive national election is being held under a party government. Although there were some criticisms, debates, threats and counter-threats over the new election system, it is assuring at the end of the day that all the parties are taking part in the election. At this point, EC has got huge roles to play to remain firm on sustaining the level playing field currently persisting in the country. Different international bodies, including European Parliament and the United States, have expressed their confidence and satisfaction about the overall election atmosphere in the country. Earning international recognition in this regard is one of the most crucial achievements of the current EC, and credit also goes to the ruling party which did not interfere into the independence of EC. Here, the opposition parties, too, deserve some appreciation for their refraining from indulging in violence against the common citizens.
Yet, EC should stay alert so that the national responsibility it has got to discharge is accomplished successfully. To this end, it should ensure equal opportunities for all political parties in terms of publicity of the candidates. Also, compliance to the electoral code of conduct should evenly apply for all. On the other hand, punitive actions against anyone, irrespective of party identity, committing criminal offences during campaigning, on election day and post-election times should be taken without hesitation. As EC is a body established and rightly acknowledged by the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, it must apply the power it has been permitted by staying above any sort of intimidation from any quarter. National election is a festival to the people of this country, and hence cautious eyes should remain open to protect it from being spoilt by any vicious quarters.