Ensuring a free , fair and credible elections is need of the hour
In my childhood, I remember people of all classes, regardless of religion, caste, or group, enjoying the national Election Day in a very festive mood. People of all walks of life enjoy the day at their best. Democracy equalizes all those coming down on the same platform by offering one voting right to each citizen to select the representatives for the next five years who will table all the issues at the parliament that really concern their wellbeing, depending upon their crucial lives. Democracy offered all citizens a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of the state-one vote for all-without counting how many assets one owns.
Since most of the religious festivals relate to specific people who belong to this religion or faith. Bangladesh gained independence more than a half-century ago through the sacrifice of lives and blood in a bloody war. What were the war's key manifestos? Of course, basic human rights, the right to vote, freedom of speech, and the rule of law to ensure a corruption-free country.
For a democracy, a free and fair election is very essential, and an independent election commissioner that can conduct the election free of any external influence, is very important. The power-holding party should ensure adequate support for the commission to provide a level playing field to all political parties. All incumbent political parties attract the masses with their respective commitments for the future and upholding the achievements of the past for the countrymen in a participatory approach with arguments.
Of course, some conflicts, and misunderstandings may arise among the political parties, but sitting together at a table, organizing dialogue, all parties have to reach a decision without being limited by party interests beyond considering the national interest.
We now come to the issue of foreign interference in our election. No doubt, for a sovereign state, such interference is quite unwanted. Are we not making room for them to do so? But when we become too incapable of settling the smooth process of power handover by organizing an acceptable election, we face this harsh reality. Besides, we are living in a global village that has been widened by social media. Our foreign partners are time-tested friends, and they have been contributing to our national development by assisting with technology, investment, and resources since our independence, well and woe. So, why not for the general election?
Infact, we have no scope to think over any phenomenon as a national issue, let alone a national election particularly for our country. Particularly under the UN, deploying observers to watch the election process is not only a tradition for Bangladesh, but also for most of the countries like ours. We can receive the expertise, materials, equipment, or any other technology to make happen an election that is acceptable equally to all, at home and abroad.
We, of course, haven't forgotten the process and results of the last two elections. Almost all young people under the age of 34, dubbed "first voters," may not be able to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Even though we have been a country for more than 50 years, our democracy is still in its infancy.
Inevitably, we have to find a solution for a pre-election government, whether in the name of a caretaker government, interim government, or national government, to execute poll neutrality. It must not desire any further clashes, violence, or destruction for the inclusive election that is scheduled for 2024. Civil society also plays an important role in holding the government accountable and ensuring the continuity of development while avoiding global inflation and price increases on essential goods. Already, people are suffering severely for their survival as they adapt to these soaring essential commodity prices. We must retain the journey of democracy in Bangladesh.
Both parties have to shake their rigidity or egoism off for the national interest. If we fail to realize the significance of a timely global standard election, both parties-the government and the opposition will have to pay a lot."If our dream (the development of Bangladesh) is unique, why are the efforts so scattered?" And it's time to restore democracy by holding a free and fair election this year for the sake of our next generation.
The writer is a humanitarian worker