Can EC guarantee a fair election in Gazipur?


AL candidate Jahangir Alam and BNP`s Hasan Uddin Sarkar in the city corporation polls in GazipurCampaigning for the Gazipur city corporation polls started during the Eid holidays. As days pass, the issue of administrative changes may loom large.

The issue of the police super's transfer may raise questions regarding a level playing field. BNP earlier demanded his transfer. There are reasons to believe that the police super has strong backing. The election commission can transfer him only according to the regular transfer rules that do not permit anyone stay in one place for over three years at a stretch.

Following BNP's demand for his transfer, the election commission expressed its inability to shift the police super from Gazipur as there were no specific charges against him.

EC will be aware that the police officer allegedly assaulted central leader of BNP Joynal Abedin Faruk in broad daylight.
The present commission earlier had withdrawn him during the 2016 union council election for a period not more than three months.
We hope the EC will take care to recover its image in Gazipur, as its stance was questioned in the Khulna city polls. The commission must also ensure that the BNP persons, especially those involved in the election campaign, are detained in the name of law and order.

EC's investigation and explanations concerning the isolated but serious irregularities during the Khulna polls were not convincing. If EC wants to continue the so-called 'peaceful, controlled' election of Khulna in Gazipur too, its neutrality will come into question again.

Gazipur will probably not witness the stiff contest as was seen between the two opponents in Khulna, nor is the campaign likely to be so strong.

There was an internal dilemma in Awami League prior to the nomination. The Awami League candidate considered the sudden postponement of the election to be part of a 'conspiracy against the government'.
The ruling party will try to show its strength by overcoming its organisational weakness in the election campaign.

An Eid get together was held just a day before the election campaign where the minister of liberation war affairs attended. The revised election provisions do not allow the members of the parliament to take part in campaigning.
The fear of breaching the election code during the campaign remains.

BNP said, after observing the Gazipur polls, they will decide whether or not to take part in the city corporation polls of Barishal, Sylhet and Rajshahi scheduled for 30 July.

Awami League said, however, BNP was saying so, but would take part in the election.

We expect the EC to give due consideration to BNP's accusations.

The commission must take every necessary step to build the trust that ensures BNP's participation in the parliamentary election. The ruling party must have the capacity to accept defeat.

The ruling party's pressure on the EC to tilt the Khulna election grounds in its favour should not be repeated in Gazipur.

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