voice for democracy

‘Election is now in ICU, democracy on life support’ – The Daily Star

Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar proposed for a separate body to conduct the local government bodies election, terming the ongoing union parishad polls “bloodstained”.
So far, 39 people were killed during and after the elections, he told a press conference at the Election Commission office in Agargaon.
“It would not be an exaggeration to call this year’s Union Parishad elections a bloodstained election. We have probably failed to convey the message that elections are not bigger than life.”
Citing the election of a disproportionate number of candidates practically unopposed, Talukdar said: “I want to say metaphorically that election is now in ICU [Intensive Care Unit] and democracy is on life support as its side effect. Literally, this cannot be called an election. There is no election when there is no competition.”
The UP election should not be held party-wise; rather, it should remain open like it was in the past.
Some 834 union council elections went to the polls and 80 chairman candidates won it unopposed.
“Had the election remained open for all candidates, there would have been no chance of getting elected without contest.”
The UP election in Laksam Upazila of Cumilla and Raozan Upazila of Chattogram has set a unique example of the “ideal election in the world”.
As many as 65 people won unopposed to the positions of chairman, general member and reserved member for women in Laksam. In Raozan, 168 candidates won uncontested to the positions of chairman, general member and reserved member for women.
“The election was very peaceful as there were no rebel candidates or rivals in the election. If such a terror-free election can be held in the whole country, then it is enough to have a secretariat under one secretary instead of the Election Commission,” he said.
In the UP polls, many returning officers felt compelled to hush up allegations of violence and violation of the electoral code of conduct due to the political reality in the area.
The UP elections can be held by forming a separate local election authority.
“Why should the Election Commission take responsibility for the election process that is not fixed by the commission?”
But this change is a matter of political decision, he said.
The intolerant attitude of the major political parties in the country has sent democracy on the brink of demise.
“Democracy cannot exist without opposition. We want to bring democracy back to normalcy from the life support at any cost to establish a multi-party democracy. For this, everyone needs to be united.”
The consensus among all political parties is needed to resolve the crisis, Talukdar said.
Despite having the obligation of the constitution, no law to form an election commission was enacted in the last 50 years.
The law should be enacted in such a way that it can secure all political parties and is accepted by them.
“There will be no benefit of enacting the one-sided law. This will only pave the way for one-party rule. The issue should be resolved soon; otherwise, anarchy will be created in the country.”
প্রখ্যাত কথাসাহিত্যিক হাসান আজিজুল হক মারা গেছেন। আজ সোমবার রাত ৯টায় রাজশাহীতে তার নিজ বাসভবনে তিনি শেষ নিঃশ্বাস ত্যাগ করেন। অধ্যাপক মলয় ভৌমিক এই তথ্য নিশ্চিত করেছেন দ্য ডেইলি স্টারকে।

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