Transparent polls could lose credibility sans opposition: CEC

A transparent election without the participation of the main opposition party could lose its credibility, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal has said.

“I have repeatedly said that the election should be participatory. In any case, if the main opposition party does not join to the polls, then whether the election is transparent or unfair, its importance and credibility would be undermined,” the CEC told reporters at Nirbachan Bhaban in the capital on Monday following a meeting with Transparency International Bangladesh.

CEC Habibul Awal said that the Election Commission wants a participatory election.

About the roles of present government during the general election, the CEC said, “The election-time government is bound to co-operate with the Election Commission as per the election rules. The pattern of this government will be changed in case of its duties as the polls-time government. Then they will do policy based works. This system is present in all countries of the world.”

He said, “The government will assist us in the election work. The government is obliged to do it according to the law. We will seek the help of the government in all elections. I hope the government will continue to cooperate.”

The Chief Election Commissioner said they need the support of three ministries–Public Administration, Home and Defence– from the government during the election.

“We do not need to worry about any other ministry. The Ministry of Public Administration controls the district magistrates while Home Ministry controls police and Defence Ministry controls Armed Forces. These three ministries of the government will co-operate with the EC during the election.”

Regarding the meeting with TIB, Habibul Awal said, “I told them, even if you don’t do politics directly, you have a position above politics. Discussions will be constructive if you sit face to face at the table and move away from making offensive remarks.”

“If you don’t sit with us and constantly make offensive remarks that would only increase the mutual contradiction.”

The CEC said, “This will not help to reduce the distance among the political parties. We want to remove this barrier of distance.”

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