Proper enforcement of the law and good governance must be ensured for holding fair and credible elections in the country, experts and academics said at a seminar yesterday.
They said violence, irregularities, and political influence were major barriers to conducting fair elections.
The seminar, "Electoral Governance in Bangladesh", was jointly organised by Microgovernance Research Initiative (MGR) and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) at Dhaka University.
MGR research coordinator Aynul Islam said electoral violence was triggered by local political rivalry, and it had to be solved by the local politicians.
Referring to the law enforcers overseeing election, he said they were often not trained enough to properly handle violent situations.
Prof Amena Mohsin of Dhaka University said women should be given more space in politics.
Sabbir Ahmed, an associate professor of DU, called for bringing reforms in electoral laws.
Presenting a paper, MGR research analyst Sunbin Islam said some parliamentary constituencies in the past were delimitated through a political nexus.
In another paper, human rights activist Bipasha Chakma said indigenous women were lagging behind in terms of political participation due to the language barrier and the absence of land rights.
She demanded a law to ensure reserved seats for indigenous women in local government institutions at the hill districts.
IFES's chief of party in Bangladesh Silja Paasilinna and Assistant Professor Mubashar Hasan of North South University, among others, also attended the programme.