Government and candidates to be blamed and election cancelled24 March 2016 Editorial Desk
THE first phase of elections in 712 Union Parishads (UP) ended on Tuesday amid sporadic violence, leaving at least 12 persons dead and over 300 injured. As per latest polls results Awami League nominated chairman candidates won in 356 UPs as against 30 for BNP and all opposition parties together won 52. The remaining results are coming slow but what is suggestive is that the elections were totally rigged by ruling party men in bloody clashes. Such elections can't be acceptable and the results should be cancelled to save election from falling into people's mistrust as nothing but a manipulation toll of the ruling party to hold its grip on power.
News reports by national dailies on Wednesday said the UP elections, held for the first time on political party tickets, were totally held hostage by the ruling party candidates. The Election Commission (EC) played the role of a spectator to the flexing of muscle by ruling party men that caused so many deaths, injuries and violence on the election day. But its blame game on police and local administration for non-cooperation with the Commission from the beginning appears to be a ploy to hide its helplessness because of its subservient attitude to the government. In fact election is now a death trap for the common people and better we should not have any election at least to save people's life. It is a power game by powerful people in which voters are cheated and democracy betrayed.
The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rokibuddin admitted that ballot papers were sealed at night at many places and violence and rigging overshadowed the elections. But again he shamelessly said the election was fair by any standard and 'definitely acceptable'.
It is not us who could be so slavish and incompetent for sacred position of the Chief Election Commissioner. Any other competent and brave Chief Election Commissioner would have thrown the blame where it is. The government and candidates have to take full responsibility for making elections so violent and illegal.
No Election Commission can ensure free and fair election where the government and party candidates are encouraged to go on rampage even killing the opponents. Those ones at the polling centers were openly and defiantly violent showing no intention by ruling party candidates to allow the people to vote freely. If the candidates do not want the election to be free and fair there is reason why the Chief Election Commissioner should not say his inability to ensure free election. He is not here to issue false certificates that the election was 'acceptable'. Do not prove that as a nation we have no man of character and courage in public life to stop the candidates to use violence and win rigged elections. The candidates must pay. Deny them election victory.
The Chief Election Commissioner should show some competence and guts to suspend the elections and say in clear words that his Commission cannot fight the vandalism at elections. So without assurance of non-violence by the candidates and the government the Election Commission will not take the responsibility of holding elections.