CEC: Army may be called out for next parliamentary polls
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal on Thursday said that the upcoming national elections may require the deployment of the army along with other forces.
He said this in a dialogue with the Bangladesh Jatiya Party at the conference room of EC building.
"We will try to install CC cameras in every polling station according to our capacity in the National Assembly elections. I would like your help so that I can control the muscle power," he said.
He added that the EC can’t do it alone. The participation of district administration, police, BGB, district magistrate and even the army may be necessary.
Saying 'The Electoral Act has given the commission quite a bit of power,' Habibul also pointed out that they can use that power to reduce potential violence or use of muscle power.
Regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), the CEC said, "I am aware of the skepticism and lack of confidence (about it). We have not blindly taken any decision on EVM. But we are not ruling out that there are some good or bad sides to it. EC is trying to test how objective that potential is."
Calling upon all the parties to participate in the election, he said balloting will be held on time as it is the responsibility according to the constitution.
"If there is no party, we cannot force it. But again and again we expect your participation," he said.
The CEC also said that your (parties') proposals are reasonable. That's why you have to be strong and active. “We will be stronger.”
He said the national election is not a joke as the government will be formed through the election of the national parliament and the highest administrative organization of the state will be the cabinet.
"So we think that the election is not a matter of negligence, the election should be representative of the people and the government should be formed with the support of the people. This requires a free, impartial election, where voters can cast their ballots unhindered," he said.
The 12-member Bangladesh Jatiya Party team was led by its chairman Professor MA Mukit.
Four election commissioners, EC secretary and senior officials of the organization were also present.