Newly-appointed Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal on Monday urged all political parties to participate in elections to help strengthen the country’s democracy.
“I would like to urge all in an unequivocal voice to restore our democratic process and form a dialectical (vibrant) parliament by participating in the elections, “the CEC told a press conference at the Nirbachan Bhaban on the very first day in office.
“We’ll try to present good governance and parliament to the nation through a fair election. We’ll not have any stinginess from this perspective,” he said.
Habibul said “We would like to make all election-oriented. There will be no deficit in our efforts.”
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When his attention was drawn to BNP’s announcement that it would not join the next national election, he said, “Wouldn’t we invite them for having talks and tea even after BNP made the announcement?”
He urged the political parties not to leave the electoral field to help the commission arrange for the polls in the fair manner. “The election, particularly the parliamentary one, is a massive act. So, political parties also have a role to make the elections fair,” he said.
In reply to another question about restoration of trust among political parties, the new CEC said the EC will assist the political leadership as a whole. “If the minimum compromise is not there among the political leadership, I can’t be their ‘Murubbi’ (mediators).”
“They (political parties) are much more knowledgeable and experienced than us. We’ll appeal to them to reach a compromise,” he said.
Habibul said all members of his commission are committed to performing their electoral responsibilities with utmost sincerity, integrity and honesty.
“My colleagues and I, in a unified voice, said that we will try to conduct the next election following our constitutional pledge and oath,” he said.
In reply to a question, he said, “We’ll try our best so the voters can apply their voting right, which is a big challenge. We will want to bring the voters in confidence,” said the new CEC.
“We hope, pray and expect from the core of our heart that all political parties will try to strengthen our republic and democracy by participating in the elections, '' he said.
Four newly-appointed election commissioners Begum Rashida Sultana, Ahsan Habib Khan, M Alamgir and Anisur Rahman and EC Secretary Md Humayun Kabir Khandaker were present at the event.
The CEC and four election commissioners took oath of office on Sunday afternoon and joined the office on Monday morning.
Earlier on Saturday last, President Md Abdul Hamid appointed former Senior Secretary Kazi Habibul Awal as the CEC as well as four others --District and Session Judge (Retd) Begum Rashida Sultana, Brig Gen (Retd) Ahsan Habib Khan, Senior Secretary (Retd) M Alamgir and Senior Secretary (Retd) Anisur Rahman as the election commissioners.