Tuesday, 28 March, 2023

EC must gain people’s confidence

A year has passed since the current Election Commission took over the charge of this vitally important constitutional body. Though a year is too short a period for coming to a flawless evaluation of such an independent statutory organisation, it is undeniable that the past period was a mixed bag of successes and failure on the part of the EC. Based on these track records, sections of the media have it that this regulatory authority of the country’s electoral process is yet to gain confidence of the stakeholders including political parties. Gaining confidence of the political parties in an environment of divergent political currents is really a challenging job but is vitally important because the level of people’s trust in the EC has a direct bearing on making elections participatory and turning it into a festival. Voter turnout also depends much on the image of the EC.

The Election Commission came out with notable successes in Gaibandha, Rangpur and Cumilla polls. The EC earned praise from different quarters as it took the bold decision of suspending Gaibandha by-polls amid reports of irregularities. However, the EC failed to draw sufficient number of voters to polling booths in the last six by-elections. The EC used CC cameras in some by-elections but use of no cameras in the last-mentioned by-polls led to raising of eyebrows by many. The debates as regards whether anyone can find fault with EVMs are all pointless; the point is whether there will be strict measures to thwart pressing of EVM buttons by undesirable elements.

Delimitation and re-delimitation of parliamentary constituencies are a regular affair of the Election Commission. The successful and flawless completion of the job has a direct implication for the image of the EC and people’s trust in it. The EC on Sunday published a draft in this regard, based mainly on the boundaries of the JS seats of the immediate past general election. Re-delimitation of the constituencies, if necessary, will be made to the seats after careful perusal of the opinions and suggestions put forward by aggrieved or interested persons. We hope that the EC will earn confidence possibly of all for a free, fair and participatory national election.