They expressed their views at a seminar on the upcoming election
Speakers have called for the Election Commission to ensure there is a fair environment during the 11th general polls to guarantee public security.
They also urged the commission to hold a participatory election, and thanked the government for arranging discussions with all political parties who share that view.
They were speaking at a seminar titled “Upcoming Election and Public Security” organized by Jaago Bangla Foundation, held at National Press Club in Dhaka on Wednesday.
The speakers added that a caretaker government during the polling is unnecessary. “We saw the effects of a caretaker government the last time it held power during polls-time,’ they said. “A lot of people were tortured.”
The seminar was attended by: Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) Chairman Dr Kazi Khaliquzzaman, former Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University Dr Arefin Siddique, Vice-Chancellor of National University Harunur Rashid, World University Vice-Chancellor Dr Abdul Mannan Chowdhury, President of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) Mollah Jalal, and Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) General Secretary Sohel Haider Chowdhury among others.
Khaliquzzaman said: “Despite all political parties agreeing to contest in the polls, as concerned citizens we are worried about the overall situation. We have come out from the culture of violence for the sake of the country.”
“The Election Commission's main duty is to ensure the participation of all parties and the security of the masses during the election,” Dr Arefin said.
“Proper steps must be taken during the election to enable people to vote freely. Someone can always create a situation and the media also has a responsibility in reporting this. Everyone needs to be aware of what is happening,” he also said.
Harunur Rashid said: “Last time an election was held, 500 families were affected by political violence. We do not want a repetition of this; we demand a fair election in a safe environment.
“We want peace, stability, and development to continue,” he continued. “We do not want politics based on vengeance.”
He further said: “Around 67% of the population is young and we have to lead them by example and move away from the culture of violence.”
Dr Abdul Mannan Chowdhury: “The bystanders affected by violence on the streets must be compensated by the state if they lose their assets to violence
‘This government is the poll-time government’
On Monday, Cabinet Secretary Shafiul Alam said the government that has been holding office since the announcement of the general election schedule, is the poll-time government.
The decision was taken as there are no specific instructions regarding an election-time government in the constitution, Shafiul told reporters following a Cabinet meeting.
On the same day, the Election Commission deferred the 11th general election date from December 23 to December 30.