Published:  01:12 AM, 18 July 2017

EC roadmap and future of democracy

The Election Commission (EC) is to be commended for officially publishing a roadmap and thus setting the ball rolling for the next parliamentary election placed to be held early 2019. And we are little surprised at the fact that political parties, particularly archrivals the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, have come up with different reactions. The AL has termed the roadmap realistic and said the upcoming election would be held on time and no anti-constitutional proposal would be accepted while the BNP has said since the decision on a election-time government is yet to be finalised, the roadmap would not resolve the prevailing crisis.

Even though both the parties are yet to give any formal reaction in this regard, we do not feel there will much change to these statements in their official reaction as these statements have been given by responsible leaders from both the sides. And what is unfortunate is that both the parties seem to be more concerned about the polls-time government instead of thinking on how they can support the EC in holding the polls in a peaceful manner.    

Even though the government in our country generally tends to influence the EC and for that reason political parties may discuss to finalise what might the form a election-time government, we do not feel the government can do much if the EC carries out its constitutional duties properly. We know once the election schedule is announced, the government is only entitled to do its routine works, while all executive authorities are bound to assist the Election Commission in the discharge of its functions. Therefore, a strong EC is what should be the major matter of concern for all election stakeholders. Political parties must extend their full support to the EC to conduct an election participated by all political parties freely and peacefully. 

We urge all the political parties, especially the BNP for whose political wrong decision the nation has paid much during the political mayhem prior to and after the parliamentary election in 2014, to take part in dialogues with the EC and put forward pragmatic proposals to make the next polls credible. The EC also must take into account every good proposal made by the parties and take action accordingly. We do not want see a repetition of what happened in 2014. An election participated by all parties where people will exercise their franchise freely and the results will be a reflection of their opinion is what we all want. No lapse from a responsible quarter in attaining that aim is desirable.        

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