A vehicular ban may act as an obstacle for many who reside far away from their respective voting centres
Leading up to the elections, violence and foul play are legitimate concerns for the Election Commission, but a full-fledged ban on vehicular movement on the day might become counterproductive to the electoral process.
Bangladesh’s 11th parliamentary elections, which will take place on December 30, will allow the Bangladeshi people to exercise one of their most fundamental rights -- to vote for the candidate they believe best suited to represent their respective constituencies.
However, a vehicular ban may act as an obstacle for many who reside far away from their respective voting centres, making it difficult, if not impossible in some scenarios, to cast their votes.
We must also keep in mind the special needs of persons with disability, or the elderly population, who may be put at a disadvantage by the vehicle ban.
While the 10 types of vehicles do not include traditional rickshaws, they are not always viable options, depending on the distances and types of terrain required to travel in order to get to the right voting centres.
Even the ruling party has echoed this sentiment, and one cannot help but agree that the EC should not ban vehicles, but ensure that measures are taken for people to be able to cast their votes easily and without hassle.
At the end of the day, that is the primary function of the Election Commission: To protect the people’s right to vote and make the process simple and fair.
It would, therefore, be good for the country and the entire election process if the EC would reconsider the vehicular ban.