With the elections scheduled to be held on December 30, the role of election observers is at the centre of discussions.
The European Union has said it was unable to send observer missions. A US observer group cancelled its mission because it was not issued visas in time. What's more, the number of local observers has been cut down drastically, compared to previous elections, although the number of polling centres has increased.
Opposition candidates have come under widespread attacks across the country. Such a climate will certainly discourage people from turning up. But what's more dangerous is that the Election Commission has created some impediments for observers, while declaring some critical and prominent observer groups ineligible.
This election can be a way for the current government to prove that elections can be free and fair even under a partisan government. Instead, it seems that it has chosen to do the opposite.
Jahidul Islam Nahid, By email