Election Code of Conduct: Both should be served as an example

:: Dr. Kazi Ertaza Hassan ::

Election heat is flowing over the country. There is no violence, no fire of terrorism and casualties. What kind of heat it is! Nothing is more than just a word ‘election’. Who will be elected? The question is how many voters or people’s participation in this election will be or how long it’s fruit will remain. Such elections have not been seen before in the history of Bangladesh. A section of the eleventh parliamentary elections ended with the submission of candidate’s nomination papers on Wednesday, standing in front of the question. After the scrutiny and withdrawal of the nomination papers, the campaign will start in full swing throughout the country. And the rumor about this campaign is the beginning of the trouble, which we have seen more often in previous elections. That is, violation of electoral code. In this violation, there is no one less than anyone in Bengal. Rather, whoever is ahead in this case, it is a tough competition. This at one point of time went beyond the limits of violation. As a result, the ‘human life’ became the ‘tool of change of power’. Petrol bomb, fire terror etc is the example.

The Election Commission secretary, however, warned on Tuesday that more than 5-7 people will not be able to be with each candidate. But around Dhaka, including the country’s 66 Returning Officer’s office was seen more of them. Earlier, we have seen that after declaration of election schedule, around the headquarters of the main political parties, the ‘exercise’ of the nominee’s opponents demonstrated their abilities to the electoral code. The original election campaigns have not started yet. But how can we be sure that it will be peaceful? This election law prohibits the submission of nomination papers, but what did we see in it? Many candidates did not follow the code of conduct. Rather, they went to the Returning Officer’s office with big crowd. Many people have also made a procession on their way back.  Hopefully, there was no conflict-related in the submission of nomination papers. The concerned people can get relief. Needless to say, this is going to be the first time the election experience in the participation of all the parties under the party government after ninety years.

Now the election must be passed to the ECNEC in the first place. Members of the public administration and law enforcement agencies must also perform all the duties conferred from above all anger or affection. Because otherwise, if the election is participative, it is fair and competitive, it cannot be said with emphasis. Even after addressing the nation, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda requested each party to be tolerant, respectful and politically sensitive to each other. EC meetings with presiding officers, assistant presiding officers, polling officers and executive who have been involved and also gave guidance about their work. Concerned persons must be on guard against any kind of violence in any stage of election. The army is being deployed from December 15 as a facilitator of law enforcement agencies. We think that their role in creating optimal environment for elections is not less important.And the ruling party must remember that in the last three decades, participatory elections will be held under a political government for the first time.

Their political positions have already been won. BNP-Jamaat has been forced to come to the polls under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina without getting any alternative authority. So, the opposition parties and the international communities will have an eye on this election. If there is a viable election, the opposition will get the opportunity to be fictitious. Then the international community will support the opposition, not the ruling party. So, whatever is the result, a fair, free and acceptable election will be the victory of the ruling party. We are looking forward to experience this.