From the Editor-in-Chief: The EC roadmap is a good beginning

Enayetullah Khan
Wednesday, July 19th, 2017
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The Election Commission is to be commended for officially publishing a roadmap and thus setting the ball rolling for the next parliamentary election scheduled to be held by early 2019. And we are little surprised at the fact that political parties, particularly the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, have come up with different reactions to the EC’s move. The AL has termed the roadmap realistic and said the upcoming election would be held on time and no anti-constitutional proposal would be accepted. For its part, the BNP has noted that since the decision on an election-time government is yet to be finalised, the roadmap will not resolve the prevailing crisis. Even though both the parties are yet to come up with any formal reaction in this regard, we do not feel there will much change to these statements in their official reactions as these statements have been made by responsible leaders from both sides. And what is unfortunate is that both the parties seem to be more concerned about the polls-time government instead of focusing on how they can support the EC in holding the polls in a peaceful manner.

 

Even though governments in our country generally tend to influence the EC, we do not feel the government can or will do much if the EC carries out its constitutional duties properly. We know once the election schedule is announced, the government is only entitled to do its routine work, while all executive authorities are bound to assist the Election Commission in the discharge of its functions. Therefore, a strong EC is what should be the major matter of concern for all election stakeholders. Political parties must extend their full support to the EC in conducting an election participated in by all political parties freely and peacefully.

 

We urge all political parties, especially the BNP, for whose political wrong decision the nation paid a high price in the course of the political mayhem prior to and after the parliamentary election in 2014, to take part in a dialogue with the EC and put forward pragmatic proposals to make the next polls credible. The EC also must take into account every good proposal made by the parties and take action accordingly. We do not wish see a repetition of old mistakes. An inclusive election where people will exercise their franchise freely and the results are a reflection of their opinion is what we all desire. No lapses from any quarters should come in the way of that democratic exercise.

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