The participation or boycott of polls by any political party cannot be the yardstick to measure an inclusive election, several Awami League leaders have said, reacting to the chief election commissioner’s (CEC) comment.
They argue that an election cannot be called inclusive even if all political parties join but the voters boycott it. They admit that the polls will lose lustre if the BNP stays away.
Several Awami League leaders, however, claim that for strategic reasons they will neither criticise nor oppose CEC KM Nurul Huda’s remark that an election in BNP’s absence will not be an inclusive one.
They note that the Election Commission might consider the involvement of the parties in polls their success.
Also Read- CEC: Election not inclusive without BNP
Presidium Member Faruk Khan says he considers Huda’s statement to be personal, adding: “Neither the Constitution nor the law says that an election without the BNP will not be participatory.”
He, however, says that BNP’s presence will be a good sign for democracy.
Health Minister Mohammed Nasim did not take the CEC’s remark lightly.
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“His comment is unacceptable,” the Awami League presidium member said. “The participation or boycott by a single party cannot be the only index of an inclusive election. The people’s involvement is what matters the most.”
Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif echoed Faruk and Nasim, adding that contesting or sitting out an election depended on the party.
Party’s Organizing Secretary Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said: “The election in which people will take part and go to vote will be a participatory one.”
This article was first published on banglatribune.com