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Half-truth is deceptive: Election Commission is not free for free election

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07th-Jul-2018       
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BRANDING the recently held Gazipur polls to have been held in "Khulna style" - a renowned citizen's rights platform Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan) apprehended that the three upcoming city polls in Rajshahi, Sylhet and Barisal will be held in the similar fashion.
Consisting of academicians and intellectuals, the platform also explained a series of patterns, which have crippled our electoral system. In its explanation, it specifically mentioned the removal of the main opponent from the field with the help of law enforcers, the obstruction of polling agents of BNP candidates, the use of muscle power during the polls and inaction by the Election Commission (EC).   
We are somewhat puzzled why the platform refrained from pinpointing the number one cause, which is wreaking havoc on the EC. And that is the government's uncalled-for interference in elections while disrupting the EC's independent functioning. Not for once did the Shujan high-ups mentioned that our Election Commission was not functioning as an independent constitutional body and it's right on this point where we persistently fail to remain intellectually honest to our people and to ourselves.
Shujan also echoed that if the EC does not take necessary measures, then the rest of the three upcoming city corporation elections in Rajshahi, Sylhet and Barisal will be marred by irregularities.
The number one pre-condition for arranging free, fair and credible polls is that the EC has to be independent in its functioning but is the EC independent on any count?
Furthermore, Shujan - Citizens for Good Governance -- came up with an eight-point recommendation for the EC to make the upcoming three city polls acceptable. Quite understandably, the EC is clearly unable, unequipped and also unwilling to materialise the recommendations. We request all our rights organisations and NGOs to comprehend this simple truth.
We do not find much honesty in those who hold press conferences to show courage in criticising the Election Commission for various failures to ensure free election. They must not pretend to be ignorant not to see that for the elected government to continue in power is violation of the practice followed under parliamentary system everywhere including India.
When the government gives the foreign countries assurance of free election that itself should make clear to all that the government that assures free election has also the power of denying free election. This is too simple for simple people not to understand.
Our people have been subjected to lies and cheating over too long a period helplessly. We really do not understand the strategy of some NGO members  who blame the Election Commission but not blame the government for changing the Constitution arbitrarily to keep full control over the election to make free election impossible.

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