Shujan suggests dissolution of parliament for level-playing field

22 Aug,2017


Dhaka, BdChronicle:

Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan), a civil society platform, on Tuesday said it is difficult to ensure a level-playing field for all in the parliamentary elections unless parliament is not dissolved.

“As per the constitutional provision, the election will be held within 90 days before the expiry of five-year tenure of parliament. If the election is held in line with the provision, it’ll be difficult to create a level-playing field for all,” Shujan Secretary Dr Badiul Alam Majumdar told a roundtable discussion in the city.

Shujan, a platform working on good governance and election, arranged the discussion titled ‘Steps needed for a Fair, Neutral and Credible Election’ at the Jatiya Press Club.

Reading out a written statement, Badiul said constitutional structure is also a built-in barrier towards fair, neutral and competitive elections. “In this context, it won’t be easy for even the strongest and neutral election commission to arrange a competitive and credible election,” he added.

About the election-time government, the Shujan secretary said without impartial and responsible behaviour from the civil administration and law enforcement agencies that mean the government, it will not be possible for the most neutral and strongest and bold election commission to hold a fair, impartial and acceptable election.

“It’s not possible to arrange a credible election without the good conduct of the election-time government,” he added.

Shujan placed a number of recommendations for the arrangement of a fair and credible national election.

Its recommendations include the deployment of army, restoration of ‘No Vote’ provision, examining affidavits submitted by candidates and taking action against candidates who would give false information, creating a level-playing field for all before the announcement of election schedule, earning public trust by the Commission, taking steps to prevent election violence, reducing ceiling of election expenditure for candidate from Tk 25 lakh and quick disposal of election disputes.

Columnist Syed Abul Maksud said EC should clear its position so that it can earn the trust of people. “We don’t know how strong or weak they are. The EC will have to earn public confidence by making its stance clear to them.”

About the EC’s ongoing dialogue with different stakeholders, he said the EC should not waste its time by sitting with political parties. Rather it should sit with the government to know how much the government will cooperate with it for holding a free and fair election.

Presided over by Shujan President M Hafizuddin Khan, the discussion was also addressed by former election commissioner M Sakhawat Hossain and Prof Asif Nazrul.

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