‘Won’t flip-flop on our promises’
Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal yesterday said the commission will not "flip-flop" on the promises it is making now.
He urged political parties to keep faith in the Election Commission and be vigilant and check whether the EC is performing its duties properly.
"What we are promising should have some value. It's not that we're going to flip-flop. That's not supposed to happen," Awal said while meeting the leaders of Jamiat e Ulama e Islam Bangladesh at the EC office in the morning.
"Have confidence in us. And don't keep your eyes closed while keeping the faith in us. Be vigilant. Are we saints or are we dishonest? If you don't keep an eye on that, you are not doing your job properly," he added.
The commission held talks with three political parties at its office yesterday.
Meanwhile, Islami Andolan Bangladesh has become the latest party to skip the dialogues with the EC.
The BNP, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD Rab), Bangladesh Kalyan Party, Bangladesh Muslim League, Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal and Liberal Democratic Party had earlier shunned the talks that began on July 17.
The EC has been holding the talks to seek recommendations on how to hold the next national polls in a free and fair manner. As of yesterday, it has met delegates from 21 parties.
Regarding the spending of large sums of money during elections, the chief election commissioner (CEC) yesterday said, "How do we deal with the power of money? You give me some ideas. Many spend sacks of money during elections. How can I control this? In public, they show the Election Commission that they spent Tk 5 lakh. How can they be caught if they spend Tk 5 crore in secret?"
At the dialogue with the Bikalpadhara Bangladesh and the National People's Party, the CEC said, "We do not want to be biased towards anyone."
Jamiat e Ulama e Islam told the EC that there should be an election-time non-partisan government and the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) should not be use in polls.
The party also recommended deployment of army with magistracy power during elections. Besides, the ministries of public administration and home should be under the EC during polls.
Bikalpadhara, on the other hand, expressed support for the use of EVM in the election and recommended that at least five army personnel be deployed at each polling station.