EC won’t bother about election’s ‘legitimacy’: CEC

CEC Kazi Habibul Awal speaks at a workshop in the city's Nirbachan Bhaban on 4 October.
Khaled Sarker

Chief election commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal has said the election commission won’t bother about the legitimacy of the election, rather it will focus on the legality of it.

He also said the EC won’t bother about who joins polls and who doesn't as the election can be called participatory if a massive number of voters cast their votes in the election.

The CEC made this remark while speaking at a workshop on roles of candidates and polling agents in ensuring free voting at Nirbachan Bhaban in the city.

About participatory election, the CEC said, “Some are using the term participatory while some are using inclusive. I’m a bit confused on the meaning of participatory and inclusive. By participatory I mean if the voter turnout is huge, then we would not bother about who joins the election and who skips.”

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He said even voter turnout of 1 per cent would not impact the legality of the election but the question of legitimacy might be different.

“We would not bother about the legitimacy. We’ll consider if the election is free, neutral and peaceful,” he added.

Kazi Habibul Awal said, “It’s not our duty to bring anyone to the election. Yet we invited them several times from a moral ground…we even sent a DO letter. We cannot do more than that.”

The CEC said  had a congenial atmosphere been created by a dialogue, the work of EC would have been easier.

About the stance of foreigners on the election of Bangladesh, the CEC said, "Some foreigners are speaking about the election in Bangladesh but we cannot do so in the US."

“One of the reasons behind that might be that America is probably more powerful than Bangladesh. Also, it might not be the case. I don’t know. But they are coming to our country to speak,” Habibul Awal added.