Refuting the claims of the BNP chairperson that the Election Commission was not independent, an election commissioner Wednesday said they were working to ensure a level-playing field for all parties.
“We are fine and our backbone is straight. We are working to ensure equal scope for all the candidates during the polls,” Election Commissioner Zabed Ali said.
BNP chief Khaleda Zia in her recent remarks had criticised the incumbent EC, saying it had no backbone and suggested that still there was time to stand on its own two feet.
Responding to the criticisms before reporters at its office Wednesday, the commissioner stood up from his seat and said: “See, I am 63 years old and fine. As per medical reports, my backbone is still straight.”
He also said all the election commissioners had straight backbones.
The commissioner hoped that the general elections would be fair with participation of all the political parties. There would be foreign and local election observers, he added.
“We will prepare the electoral code of conduct ensuring a level-playing field to give all the candidates an equal chance,” Zabed Ali said.
About preparation of holding the general elections, he said the EC was prepared to hold the polls both 90 days before and after the parliament is dissolved.
When asked how they would ensure equal scope for all if parliament is not dissolved, the commissioner said: “We are able to ensure a level-playing field with the assistance of all ministries including the law ministry.”
On the electoral code of conduct, Zabed Ali said the EC was not working on it now. “There is still time in our hand to prepare it,” he added.
Zabed refused to comment on the cabinet approval to the draft RPO proposed by the EC saying they had not received a copy of it.