Democracy flourishes through polls: CEC

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Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal on Monday said democracy gets flourished through polls.

“We cannot force any party to join polls. But it is our responsibility to call upon all to join elections. If parties don’t join polls, democracy won’t get flourished,” he told reporters after a dialogue with senior journalists at Nirbachan Bhaban at Agargaon here.

Awal said: “Every stakeholder will have to make efforts for holding a fair election. We are not holding any meaningless dialogue.”

Noting that keeping transparency in polls is very important, the CEC said they talked about setting CCTV cameras inside centers and showing it on monitor outside of centers.

National and international election observers can also report to the commission, he said.

He said they have efforts to discharge duties with honesty and they will continue it. Awal said they will have to do everything required to make the polls free from any kinds of influence.

Biggest challenge of holding an election is to ensure that voters can exercise their franchise smoothly, he mentioned.

He said they must have to stop any kind of vote rigging. “We will try to enhance our capability and efficiency,” he said.

The CEC said electronic voting machine (EVM) facilities can reduce the use of muscle power as none can fill ballot box with stamping ballot papers illegally in this system.

“We have already held several meetings over the matter,” he said.
Four election commissioners and senior officials of the EC joined the dialogue.

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Managing Director and Chief Editor Abul Kalam Azad, Ekattor TV Managing Director Mozammel Babu, senior journalist Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, DBC News Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Manjurul Islam, Global TV Editor Syed Ishtiaque Reza, Rtv CEO Syed Ashik Rahman, Masranga TV Head of News Rezawanul Haque Raza, Ntv Head of News Jahirul Alam, Jago News acting Editor KM Ziaul Haque, Ekushey TV Head of News Rashed Chowdhury, Channel i Chief News Editor Zahid Newaz Khan, Bangla Vision Head of News Abdul Hai Siddique, bdnews24.com Chief Editor Toufiq Imroz Khaledi,

Mytv Head of News Sheikh Nazmul Haque Saikat, Somoy TV Head of News Muztaba Danish, Independent TV Chief News Editor Ashish Saikat, ATN Bangla Chief Executive Editor ZE Mamun, Channel 24 Executive Director Talat Mamun, News 24 executive editor Rahul Raha, Desh TV Chief News Editor Borhanul Haque Samrat, Bangla Tribune Head of News Masud Kamal, journalist Mustafa Firoz, Nagarik TV Head of News Dip Azad, Jamuna TV Chief Executive Officer Fahim Ahmed and Spice TV Editorial Head Tushar Abdullah joined the dialogue.

BSS Managing Director and Chief Editor Abul Kalam Azad said it is the decision of a party whether it will join polls or not.

A party frequently demands resignation of the election commissioners, but it is not a good thought, he mentioned.

Azad said there is nothing heroic in resigning.

Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul said:”None raise question about you (new Election Commissioners). That was our expectations. You know very well what your duty is. You must have to hold a fair election.”

Noting those who lost elections in the past, they blamed the election commission, Bulbul said it is the brave decision for the commissioners to join the EC.

Ekattor TV Chief Editor and Managing Director Mozammel Babu said none can raise question about the appointment of the new Election Commissioners.
“If you can discharge your duty properly, every criticism will go in vain,” he said.

Noting that Election Commission became controversial in different times in the last 50 years and sometimes parties deliberately made the EC controversial, Babu urged the new commission to stay beyond all controversy.

He said in one hand EVM is the solution, on the other hand EVM is the problem. So, if paper audit trail can be introduced, people’s trust in EVM will increase, he mentioned.