Don’t consider any level-playing field exists: EC Mahbub
Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder on Monday said he does not think there is any level-playing for the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
“I don’t think there’s anything like level-playing field. The term ‘level-playing field’ has turned into a meaningless word,” he said while replying to queries from reporters in written.
As four reporters asked the election commissioners some questions in the morning, he told them to write down their questions.
He gave answers to the questions in written. Drawing his attention to Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda’s comments that there is a level-playing ground for the election, a reporter asked Mahbub Talukder whether he was opposing the CEC.
In reply, he said, “I never oppose his remarks. He expresses his opinions. I express dissent opinion if necessary. You’re journalists, you’re aware of the country. Ask your conscience whether there’s any level-playing field for the election. You’ll find the answer.”
Asked whether it is possible to hold a free and fair election amid allegations of obstructing opposition candidates from conducting electioneering across the country, the election commissioner said, “I’m an optimistic man. The promise to hold a free and fair election will have to materialised in the time left before us. Executive magistrates, judicial magistrates and electoral enquiry committee judges should play a more effective role in this regard.
He also thinks that the situation will take a positive turn once the army is deployed.
About CEC’s remarks that the election will be participatory and fair with the participation of all parties, Mahbub Talukder said participatory election has no relation with a credible one. “A participatory election is a primary achievement. But the main thing is that whether the election is fair and credible. A participatory election will be of no use unless it’s acceptable and credible.”
Asked whether the public administration and law enforcement agencies remain under the control of the Election Commission, he said they do not hold the election directly. “It’s held through returning officers, officials concerned and law enforcement agencies. Top officials of the law enforcement agencies are under the Election Commission. They can say how much members of their forces are under their control.”
In reply to another query whether he has any message in the present situation, the election commissioner expressed the hope that no one –- candidates, voters and even law enforcers – will violate the law. “Let the law take its own course. Abide the electoral code of conduct. Assist us to make the election a success.”