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Uphold a peaceful election

Published : Saturday, 29 December, 2018 at 12:00 AM  Count : 687

Uphold a peaceful election

Uphold a peaceful election

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda called upon the members of law enforcement agencies to ensure overall security so that people can cast their votes in a free, fair and festive atmosphere on the election day. The CEC came up with the call while talking to reporters at Nirbachan Bhaban. The United Nations, the United States and the United Kingdom have condemned violent incidents expressing concern over reports of violence in the run-up to the polls.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said widespread electoral violence started as soon as the candidate lists had formally been approved, and campaigns had began. It also said there had been violent attacks by supporters of all rival political parties and that the authorities failed to act impartially. We are also concerned by the reports of incidents of electoral violence and arrests of men in who are participating in the campaign.

As a newspaper, we call on all stakeholders to do their part to make sure that the election is inclusive and transparent. It is, of course, very important that the security forces act to ensure free and unhindered campaigning by all candidates and we believe that they will do their duty. Bangladeshi citizens should feel confident in their ability to safely exercise their right to vote. Civil society and electoral observers also need to be fully supported to play their role in this process. Only then an inclusive election will be ensured which in return make sure the stable peace of this country.

In this regard, EC as well as government has to uphold its commitment to a democratic process by ensuring that all Bangladeshis were free to peacefully express themselves and participate in the coming election. In the lead up to any democratic election there must be space for peaceful expression and assembly; for independent media to do its job covering electoral developments; for participants to have access to information; and for all individuals to be able to partake in the electoral process without harassment, intimidation, or violence. We believe in people's rights to vote freely.

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