Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal has said the commission will not go beyond its jurisdiction when it comes to holding the upcoming elections.
“We will do what we think is best for the sake of the elections,” he told a press conference at the Election Commission (EC) Secretariat on Sunday.
Answering a question on reshuffling the administration during the polls, he said, “Who did this in the past? Justice Latifur Rahman did. He was the chief of the caretaker government. We will not do anything beyond our jurisdiction.”
Awal said they would decide on army deployment during the polls at the final stage. “If we think it is necessary, they [the government] will permit us. There is no doubt about it.”
When asked what would happen if the BNP did not contest the elections, the CEC said, “I will not answer. I have invited the BNP 10 times. They have not come, but there is still time.”
“If a consensus is reached, it will be easier for us. It will be good for the nation if they come. We want the elections to be participatory.”
Awal further said election commissioners had spoken about rescheduling the polls but “that does not mean the voting date will be deferred.”
Meanwhile, Election Commissioner Md Anisur Rahman on Sunday said the law does not permit anyone to foil elections.
“Everyone has the right to participate in the polls and not to do so as well. However, the law does not give anyone the right to prevent others from voting,” he said during a meeting with returning officers, assistant returning officers, and law enforcers at the Circuit House in Chattogram.
He said no compromise would be made to conduct free, fair, and impartial polls, adding no kind of nepotism and laxity would be shown.
“Duties must be performed properly. If the election is questionable due to the biased behaviour of anyone, he will be responsible and will face actions.”
The EC will hold an inter-ministerial meeting on Tuesday to discuss various matters, including the visa processing of foreign observers and journalists as well as establishing airport helpdesks and media cells. The meeting will be held at the EC Secretariat and presided over by EC Secretary Md Jahangir Alam.
The commission has written to the foreign ministry, the revenue board, the Public Security Division, the Security Services Division, the immigration and passports department, the information ministry, and Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka, requesting their officials to attend the meeting. It has also requested the presence of the chief information officer.
BDST: 2132 HRS, NOV 26, 2023