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Flexing muscles on streets won’t help hold democratic polls: CEC

He urges political parties to join election in competitive manner

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 25 November, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal on Thursday urged the political parties to take part in elections abiding by the rules without flexing muscles on the streets.

“The political parties must maintain a balance in the field of voting through an effective competition in elections. It’s not possible to hold fair and credible elections with only law enforcement agencies on all occasions if the political parties don’t maintain a balance by fielding candidates and agents,” he said.

The CEC was talking to reporters at the Election Commission secretariat.

“As the Chief Election Commissioner, I would say flexing muscles on the streets won’t help hold a truly democratic election. You have to come to the polls and compete (with each other) after following electoral rules,” he said.

Awal said government's willingness and overall cooperation are needed to hold a successful and fair election. “Without government’s sincere will and cooperation, it may not be possible to make the election successful to the desired extent,” he added.

 If there is no consensus among the political parties, the Election Commission will not be able to hold a fair election, he said.

About further talks with the political parties, the CEC said no decision has yet been taken about the issue, saying more dialogues need to be held.

“In our existing system, the government is not Awami League. The government is a different entity. If there’s no cooperation from the ministries and departments of the government, it may not be possible to make the election successful. And so the political leaders are saying that dialogue is very crucial,” he said.

Awal said he wants to convey this message to the political leaders through the media. “I don’t believe that a fair election will be possible by showing off power on the streets,” he said, referring to the political leaders who are saying there will be a test of strength on the streets.