Expressing concern over recent polls-related violence, Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan) yesterday said continuation of such incidents may adversely affect polls day (December 30).
Hopefully, it [polls-related violence] will be reduced or stopped as the Election Commission (EC) is trying to address this while army will also be deployed for maintaining the law and order situation, Shujan President M Hafizuddin Khan told a press conference.
Shujan, an organisation working to ensure good governance, arranged the press conference on “Kon dol-er kemon ishtehar” (parties and their manifestos) at Dhaka Reporters Unity.
Shujan called upon the political parties to fully implement pledges they have made in their election manifestos once they form the government through the upcoming polls.
Over the years, despite making many admirable pledges, political parties did not implement those or forgot all about them once assuming power, it said.
Hafizuddin, also adviser to a former caretaker government, said that people lack trust in the present EC because of its activities and past record of holding elections.
“Nothing has happened yet that can help regain trust of the people,” he said, adding that the overall polls situation has so far been “disappointing”.
Free and fair election is the starting point for democracy and good governance, he said.
“Had that happened from the beginning, we could have made significant progress towards ensuring a democratic society,” Hafizuddin added.
Shujan Secretary Badiul Alam Majumdar said the election is going to be inclusive because of participation of major political parties.
However, it may not be participatory in true sense if voters' presence on election day is not satisfactory.
The election will truly be participatory and inclusive when all sectors of the society, particularly the religious and ethnic minority groups, can overcome fear and cast their votes freely, he added.
He urged the EC, administration, law enforcement agencies and others involved in the electoral process to do their duties accordingly, saying that another controversial election after the one-sided 2014 polls will make everyone culpable to the future generation.
He also said the EC should welcome the role of journalists and observers as supplementary to its role for ensuring credible polls. More observers will increase possibility of credible polls, he added.