The government has taken various measures to make the forthcoming national election more acceptable and participatory, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said yesterday, expressing hope that there will be spontaneous participation of all political parties in the polls.
While replying to a tabled question from Jatiya Party lawmaker Syed Abu Hossain in the parliament, the premier spelled out 11 significant measures taken by the government to make the next general election more inclusive.
The measures included ensuring a congenial environment for the participation of all political parties so that they can carry out party activities centring elections.
The JaPa lawmaker from Dhaka-4 (Demra-Shyampur) asked the prime minister whether she had any special plan as the daughter of Father of the Nation to ensure participation of all registered political parties in the next parliamentary election.
In reply, Hasina, also the leader of the House, said as per Article 118 (4) of the Constitution, the Election Commission is an independent and constitutional body.
"The chief election commissioner and other election commissioners carry out their respective work independently in line with the constitution and the law. The government assists the Election Commission as per its requirement," she added.
The president of the ruling Awami League said the EC will remain independent in carrying out its activities and it will remain only under the jurisdiction of the constitution and the law.
She said it is the Awami League that has been playing a leading role in flourishing and advancing the country's democracy.
"Therefore, the present government led by the Awami League is playing a sincere and positive role in creating a suitable environment for holding a free, fair, and acceptable election," she said.
Saying that election is an essential element in the democratic system, she stated that the role of the Awami League in protecting Bangladesh's independence, sovereignty, and democracy is historical and undeniable.
The PM said her government has formulated the election commission law in line with Article 118 (1) of the constitution to hold local body and national elections in an acceptable and neutral manner.
She also said 22 amendment proposals of opposition parties were accepted during the placing of the "Appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners Bill" which is the first step of making the election acceptable, free, fair, and neutral.
Hasina said a voter list having photographs has been prepared. Transparent ballot boxes have been ensured at the polling centres. Besides, modern electronic voting machines have been introduced, she added.