‘Govt to ensure level-playing field for inclusive polls’

Moshiul Alam | Update:

Maksud KamalDhaka University Teachers' Association president Maksud Kamal said the Awami League government should create a congenial atmosphere for making the next election participatory and fair.

"I think there will be certain underrstanding between the government and the opposition. And the opposition parties will join the election under the current government," he told Prothom Alo in an exclusive interview.

He thinks it has been an imperative to give democracy an institutional shape through a fair and neutral election.

Asked if there is a congenial atmosphere for fair elections, the DU professor of Disaster Science and Management department, said, "I don't think the country has deviated much from its [democratic] path ."

The principal opposition BNP alleged that hundreds of their leaders and activists facing repression and arrest. Asked how this could be called a congenial environment for participatory polls, Maksud Kamal said, "I believe the people of the country take right decision."

When asked how the people would reach the polling stations to take a right decision, Kamal, teacher of pro-Awami League blue panel, said it would be possible for the voters to reach the voting centres.

He claimed that the government allowed the BNP to hold a rally, realising that an inclusive election has to be arranged. He added, all political parties understand popular expectations and strike a consensus at the climax of the crisis.

However, he regretted "we could not establish a culture that peace and order will prevail after the election."

Maksud Kamal emohatically said that there would be no repetition of the 5 January 2014 election, which was boycotted by all major opposition parties including the BNP.

When asked if a fair and credible election is possible under the current election commission which has lost confidence of the opposition by this time, the DU teacher said, "That, too, depends on the political parties..."

"I think the election commission is an institution. If the rules and regulations of the commission are followed properly, a fair and neutral election can be held certainly," he said.

Emphasising stronger role of the election commission for creating the ground for fair election, he still regretted that the opposition parties question neutrality of the election commission during all governments.

He admitted that there is a political crisis in the country as the opposition parties placed a set of demands while the government has its own political position.

"There were such political crises in the past. However, the political parties had been able to come out of the crises through talks."

• This piece, originally published as interview text in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in story format in English by Rabiul Islam.

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