Next national polls to be free, fair, participatory: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today hoped that the next parliamentary election will be held in a free and fair manner with the spontaneous participation of all political parties, as her government has taken various measures to make it more inclusive, acceptable and participatory.
The premier expressed this optimism in parliament while replying to a tabled question from Jatiya Party (JP) lawmaker Syed Abu Hossain of Dhaka-4 (Demra-Shyampur) constituency.
The Leader of the House also spelled out eleven significant measures taken by the government to make the election more inclusive and acceptable.
The measures include ensuring an environment for participation of all political parties and to carry out party activities during the election. The Jatiya Party lawmaker also asked the Prime Minister whether she has any special plan, as the daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to ensure participation of all registered political parties to make the election more acceptable and inclusive.
Sheikh Hasina said as per Article 118 (4) of the Constitution, the Election Commission (EC) is an independent and constitutional body.
“The chief election commissioner and other election commissioners carry out their respective works independently in line with the constitution and the law. The government assists the EC as per its requirement,” she added.
“(I) hope that the next Jatiya Sangsad polls will be held in a free and fair manner with participation of all political parties,” said the premier.
The president of ruling Awami League also said the EC will remain independent in carrying out its activities and it will work only under the jurisdiction of the Constitution and the law.
“It is the duty of the government and the executive authority to assist the EC in carrying out its activities,” she continued.
Sheikh Hasina said that it is the Awami League which has been playing a leading role in flourishing and advancing the country’s democracy.
“Therefore, the present government led by Awami League has been playing a sincere and positive role in creating a suitable environment for holding free, fair and acceptable elections,” she said.
Mentioning that election is an essential element in the democratic system, she said the role of Awami League in protecting Bangladesh’s independence, sovereignty and democracy is historic and undeniable.
The Prime Minister said that her government has formulated election commission law in line with Article 118 (1) of the Constitution to hold the local body and national elections in an acceptable and neutral manner.
She added that some 22 amendment proposals of opposition parties were accepted during placing of the “Appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners Bill” which is the first step of making the election acceptable, free, fair and neutral.
Sheikh Hasina said a voter list having photographs has been prepared in a bid to make the election fair and acceptable.
She said transparent ballot boxes have been ensured at the polling centres. Besides, electronic voting machines with modern systems have been introduced, she added.