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Govt’s cooperation essential for holding fair polls: CEC

UNB . Dhaka
25 Nov 2022 00:00:00 | Update: 25 Nov 2022 01:11:54
Govt’s cooperation essential for holding fair polls: CEC

The government’s willingness and overall cooperation are needed to hold a successful and fair election, said Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal on Thursday.

“Without the government’s sincere will and cooperation, it may not be possible to make the election successful to the desired extent,” he said in response to a question from reporters at the Nirbachan Bhaban.

Besides, it will not be possible to hold the election in a fair and credible manner with the help of police and army only if the political parties themselves do not maintain a balance, he added.

If there is no consensus among the political parties, the Election Commission will not be able to hold a fair election, said the CEC.

“Understanding among political parties, their cooperation and an environment conducive to hold a fair election need to be created,” he said.

Regarding the dialogue among the political parties, he said no decision has been taken yet on another round of dialogue, but more dialogue needs to be held.

The CEC said, “In our existing system, the government is not the Awami League. Government has a different entity.”

“If there is no cooperation from the ministries, departments of the government, then it may not be possible to make the election successful. And so the political leaders are saying that dialogue is very crucial. We see there is no dialogue between the political parties. We think this is very necessary.”

He said he wants to convey this message to the political leaders through the media. “I do not believe that a fair election will be possible by showing off power on the streets,” Awal said, referring to the political leaders who are saying that there will be a test of strength on the streets.

He urged them to participate in the election and compete maintaining the rules and regulations in the election field.

Democratic election is not possible without ‘effective competition, the CEC said adding, “Because we cannot create a balance with the police, it will be created only through healthy competition among political parties.”

More voters enrolled than expectation

The EC has enrolled more voters than the number estimated in the voter list update programme during a countrywide campaign, including door-to-door visits.

This would be the last registration process for prospective voters before the 12th parliamentary election.

Enumerators of the EC visited households to complete the update in four phases starting from May 20 to November 20 this year following the terms of Section 11 of the Electoral Rolls Act 2009 Voter List Update Programme.

The progress rate of the voter registration process is 8.59 per cent, the commission said.

The EC officials said 9,870,970 people have completed the registration process in the update programme, 1,255,233 more than the estimated number.

Registration of 4,778,003 women, 5,092,716 men, and 251 third-gender people has been completed.

The names of 1,709,321 people were removed from the voters’ list after verification of the necessary documents, the commission said.

The EC collected data about citizens born on or after January 1, 2005, January 1, 2006, and January 1, 2007. These people would gradually be included in the voter list when they turn 18.

The cost of the voter list update programme this year has been estimated at Tk106.64 crore, which is Tk26 crore more than the previous time.

The EC will publish the final and updated list of voters on National Voters’ Day on March 2 next year.

The voter list was updated five times since the creation of the voter list with photos in 2007-2008.

The polling authority now has information about more than 11.32 crore voters. Among them, there are 57,689,529 male voters and 55,597,027 female and 454 third-gender voters.