A fresh start

What do the people expect from the new election commission?

A new election commission has been formed in Bangladesh.

The chief election commissioner (CEC) and four election commissioners (ECs) were sworn in recently.

And they have already started to attend offices.

Before the formation of the new election commission.

An unusual enthusiasm was noticed among the stakeholders and the media, mainly.

Because this is the first time the election commission was formed under a legal framework hastily.

By the parliament on January 27, fulfilling a constitutional obligation that was long overdue

Now we come to the main topic.

What do the people expect from the new election commission?

The answer is very simple: The people want only fair elections at all levels.

Nothing more is desired and nothing less is acceptable.

In a fair election, all political parties and all candidates will have equal opportunities to contest.

The elections without any coercion or extra benefits. 

All registered voters will be able to vote freely, without interference by muscle or money power.

All allegations of irregularities must be investigated impartially by the election commission.

And corrective measures taken promptly, if the allegations are found to be true.

It should be remembered that like justice, fairness in elections must be seen to be done.

It is gratifying to note that the new CEC promised to hold free and fair elections while talking.

The media during their visit to the national memorial at Savar on March 1, 2022.

And also during subsequent interviews.

But will simple promises convince all stakeholders that the elections will be fair? 

It is doubtful as many similar promises in the past failed to materialize.

So to convince the stakeholders, the election commission must first demonstrate.

That it has the necessary will power to hold fair elections against all odds.

The will power must come from within the election commission. Nobody can infuse it in anyone. 

This is the acid test. The CEC and the ECs must tighten their belts and pass this test.

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