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4 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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For an inclusive election

For an inclusive election

When the Chief Election Commissioner categorically said Saturday that the next parliamentary election could not be inclusive without the participation of the BNP, he stated what was the obvious. The party has been a major contender for the governance of Bangladesh for the last three decades, and as it did not join the last polls in 2014, the election was not widely taken to be a complete one. The BNP might have reasons to shun the 2014 polls and the AL government might have reasons to hold the elections sans the BNP. Whatever might be the truth, the point here is the election of that year without a major party was not consistent with the spirit of democracy; and it is expected that in the next general election slated to be held in December this year, there will be no repetition of the previous election.

Democratic politics is an art of compromise and we must say that in the holding of election in 2014, the two major political alliances led by the AL and the BNP failed to make this much-needed negotiation. As a result of this, the people were broadly deprived of their right to vote. There are still about 10 months to go for the next election and the leaders of the two major parties plus the leaders of their alliances must ensure that this time people can exercise their right to vote freely and elect their MPs of choice.

While we appreciate the positive note with which the CEC uttered his words about inclusivity of an election and his expressed commitment for creating a level playing field maintaining neutrality, the fact is the bone of contention between the AL and the BNP is the election-time government.

If at the final phase before election, no consensus is reached on this point and the BNP and its alliance political parties boycott the polls, CEC’s commitment for holding an impartial election will not have much value. That is why for an inclusive election, ultimately it is the political will of the two major alliances that will matter the most and the onus of holding of this election squarely falls on the opposing political parties.

Once a middle ground is found between the contenders in election on the election time government, then the Election Commission will have to deliver its duty to hold the election neutrally. The nation waits for the day when the defeated political party and their leaders in an election learn to graciously accept the election result.              

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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