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EC has no option except holding polls in time: CEC

Staff Reporter:

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal yesterday said as per the constitutional obliga-tion, the next general elections will be held in time since the Election Commissioner (EC) has no other option.
“There should not be such misunderstanding among the people that the elections would not be held if there is adverse atmosphere here,” he told reporters after holding a meeting with US Ambassador in Dhaka Peter Hass at Nirbachan Bhaban in the capital.
The CEC said: “I want to make it clear that the polls must be held in time following electoral proce-dures. We are firmly committed to holding the elections.”
During the meeting, he said, the UN envoy wanted to know about the election environment and “from our side, we make it clear that we have no option”.
Awal said the Election Commission has constitutional obligation in holding the elections in specific timeframe.
“The political parties have various options. They can participate in the elections or not. They can contest 300 seats individually or they can join polls under alliances. There are various options for the political parties but the EC has no option,” he said.
“We are strongly moving forward to hold the elections and many talk about favorable environment of election and it very significant,” the CEC said, hoping that most of the political parties will participate in the next elections and create such an environment favorable for polls.
Talking to reporters, US Ambassador Peter Hass said no party has space to get involved in conflict in democratic elections.
He hoped that all concerned will sit in unconditional dialogues to find a way to hold a free, fair and peaceful election and mitigate concern.
Transparency and accountability must be ensued in performing the constitutional duty of the EC so that polls could be held as per international standard, the US envoy said.
He mentioned that the government, political parties, law enforcing agencies, voters, civil society, media and the EC have responsibilities in holding a free, fair and peaceful election.

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