Army may stay for longer period, if necessary, he says
Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad on Thursday expressed the hope that the 10th national election, billed for January 5, will be held peacefully and without any obstruction.
“The law and order situation has already improved significantly across the country. We hope the situation will improve further within the next couple of days before the election day,” he told reporters emerging from a meeting with President Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban.
Asked about the credibility of the election being held without the main opposition, the CEC said they had waited for the opposition and hoped that the political parties would reach a consensus.
Rakibuddin also said it would have been better and easier for them (EC) had there been a political consensus.
The CEC said they apprised the President of the steps taken by the Election Commission to hold the election in a peaceful and credible manner.
Responding to a question, Rakibuddin said the army deployment may be required for a longer period in some particular areas, if necessary.
“As of now, the army deployment will be there after the election as per the previous decision. But, the government may seek army support anytime again, if there’s any need for longer stay of army in any particular area,” he said.
Replying to another question, the CEC said the blockade (enforced by the opposition) will not create any barrier to the movement of voters for casting their votes. “Blockade usually creates barriers to movement from one place to another. Since the vote casting will take place locally, the blockade won’t cast any negative impact,” he explained.
During the meeting with the EC delegation, President Abdul Hamid expressed satisfaction over the preparations taken by the EC and laid emphasis on maintaining law and order.
In the one-hour long meeting, the CEC apprised the President of the overall preparation of the EC to hold the polls peacefully, president’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim told journalists at a press briefing after the meeting.
Informing the President that the commission is active to improve the overall law and order situation, Rakibuddin said the law-enforcement agencies have already recovered various illegal firearms and explosive, said the press secretary.
The CEC also informed the President that the election will be held in 147 constituencies, and the commission instructed returning officers to discharge their duties as per law.
The President expressed the hope that the election will be held in free and peaceful manner, said Ihsanul Karim.
Earlier, a six-member Election Commission team, led by CEC Rakibuddin Ahmad, held an hour-long meeting with President Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban.
The meeting began at about 3:28pm and ended around 4:28 pm.
The other EC delegation members are: four election commissioners — Mohammad Abdul Mobarak, Abu Hafiz, Md Shah Nawaz and Zabed Ali -– and Election Commission secretariat secretary Dr Mohammad Sadik.
Secretaries concerned of the President office were present.
Source: UNB Connect