Claiming that political party-led governments have failed to hold free and fair elections, Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan) yesterday urged Election Commission (EC) to be more watchful so that the incumbent government cannot influence the administration and law enforcers prior to and during the parliamentary election on December 30.
“The elections which were held so far under party-led governments have been questioned, so the EC should play a bolder role in holding a free and fair election,” said Badiul Alam Majumder, secretary of Shujan.
Shujan, a civil society platform working for good governance, held a press conference on “11th Parliamentary Election: call for holding a free, fair, peaceful and acceptable election” at the capital's Jatiya Press Club.
Badiul Alam also said the EC must consider that election is being held under a party-led government and that is why some candidates are contesting as members of the parliament while others are contesting as general candidates, so ensuring a level playing field for all is needed.
Shujan's Central Convener Dilip Kumar Sarkar read out a paper which presented some recommendations for the EC, government, political parties, ministers, parliament members, law enforcers, voters, media and all other stakeholders of the election.
He said the EC, using its constitutional power, can hold a free and fair election if it wishes, so they must maintain neutrality.
He urged the incumbent government not to manipulate public officials to serve their interests but to help the EC hold a fair election.
Dilip also urged political parties not to nominate war criminals and corrupt persons from their respective parties.
“If all stakeholders act responsibly, a free and fair election can be held,” he added.
Among others, Shujan's Dhaka city unit Vice President Camelia Chowdhury and Media Coordinator Shamima Mukta were present at the press conference.