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Democratic practice won't develop without electoral competition: CEC

Published : 13 Dec 2022 09:58 PM | Updated : 14 Dec 2022 05:08 PM

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal on Tuesday said that the democratic practice does not develop if there is no electoral competition among political parties..

For this, each party should arrange dialogue among themselves to reach consensus, he told the reporters after a meeting on law and order over Rangpur city corporation (RCC) election at the Deputy Commissioner's office.

“We have to sit at the table and discuss. Showing off power on the streets and election through ballot at the poll centre are not the same thing,” he said.

Expecting a participatory election, the CEC urged all parties to participate in the election spontaneously. The election commission cannot force anyone in this regard.

“But I will be happy if the BNP participates in the election,” he added.

The CEC asked the political parties to make people interested towards the election creating such an environment.

“If the election is not competitive, then it does not reflect the exact public opinion.”

Regarding the RCC election, Habibul Awal said strict action will be taken against anyone who obstructs the free exercise of people’s voting rights.

He urged the people of the city to go to the polling centres spontaneously on December 27.

CEC also ordered the returning officers concerned to observe the election on CCTV cameras besides monitoring from Dhaka.

Asked about the Gaibandha election, the CEC said action has been taken against those who were involved in the irregularities. This time, instructions have been given so that the poling agents responsible for the election malpractice cannot be present in the re-election.

The Election Commission also decided to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) and CCTV cameras in Rangpur City Corporation election.

A total of 3,93,994 voters will be able to vote at 193 centres to elect the Rangpur mayor, 27 general ward councillors and 11 reserved ward councillors. The last election to Rangpur City Corporation was held on December 21, 2017.

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