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The Salient features for fair & Credible 11th Parliament Election

Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed

In order to promote the Democratic system, the upcoming 11th Parliament Election should be free, fair & neutral. There is no alternative of it. Henceforth, preparation is a must . Meanwhile, Election Commission is on process for next parliament election. With this aims and objectives, Election Commission is continuing the dialogue with civil society, social elites and having the opinion, from different political parties. Election Commission officials are also exchanging views.
There are three mandated responsibilities for ensuring free & fair election. One is the guiding principle towards road map, the second is to determine the rules and the third one is creating a level playing field.The rules must meet the demand of time and situation. Firstly, the no voting should be restored. In 2008, there was the provision of no voting system. Later on, it was withdrawn. For this reason, there was lodged a suit in court. Last Election Commission opposed the system. In our neighboring country, this system is functioning. We find merits through this no voting system.
Previously we have herd that, candidates were obstructed and threatened at the time of submission of nomination papers. So this unwanted situation may be addressed if it is done on-line. After submission of papers, a cooperative statement may be prepared which is possible to communicate to the voters. There is no provision of submitting documents like income tax return, affidavit for the woman reserved seats. This may be incorporated.
The members list of the political parties is a required to publish it through web-site. This must be updated regularly. As a result, the membership identity will be clear. The affividivits is old and backdated. It must be suited with the changing of time. If some one tries to hide the real state or position, his or her candidature will be cancelled. This will make the political arena pollution free.
The voter list is required to change. The constituency should cover the equal number of voters. Moreover the voter list must be found clean & correct. The area & boundary of constituency is also important. Previously the boundary and inequality became a question in respect of national & international standard. So redesigning and fresh planning is necessary.Election expenditure must have its limit. It should be rational. The illegal expenditure, and sources of illegal income must be stopped. The estimated expenditure submitted by the candidates is almost meaningless. There is mismatch and big difference with the real picture. So it is to be justified. Election expenditure must not cross the limit.The affidavit must be well checked. If any falsehood is found, the candidature must be cancelled and finally result should not be declared. These will ensure election fair. Only the deserving and the competent candidates will compete the election race. Violence before & after election has increased. In the last many elections, many a people had casualties and some died also. In 2008 election, candidate panel list was supposed to be made as RPO and with the opinion of grassroots activists and leaders. The party supreme command from central office will nominate but virtually it was not followed. On ground of relaxation there was not the obligation of selection from panel. In every constituency the selection from the panel list must be made obligatory.The student or labour wring and any other sub-sectoring provisions of parties may be stopped. In this case the specified change in RPO should be brought. Election Commission must implement it. The other thing is result dispute. Commission is empowered to settle any dispute. Election Commission must take care of it. The change in the conduct of social media is also necessary. They should be refrained from publishing and making and false news.
Commission must be very strong & strict. On the other hand the law & order agencies must be, fair and free to the implementation of laws. If govt. is biased and Commission’s attitude is step motherly and partial, fair election will be absurd and impossible.
We hope in the coming election voter participation must be ensured. In no way, voter could be disturbed by any vested quarter. There must not any foul game or ill treatment towards any weak candidate. The treatment should be very plain and humble type. The Election Commission should take proper initiatives to make the election machanism easier, free, fair- so that it earms voter’s trust. Rather Election Commission should be neutral to up hold the democratic invirnment. This will help Bangladesh to be a real democratic country. In fine, we can say that if there is a credible election, acceptable electoral roll, digitalision of voting system and some other pregmative steps then Election Commission will appear strong.

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