Participants in an Election Commission dialogue on Monday said bringing back trust in the election system and instilling confidence in the electronic voting system among the people should be priorities of the new commission.
Editors of televisions and online media, and senior journalists took part in the 4th phase of the dialogue at the EC office in the capital's Agargaon.
"We expect such a national election, in which leading political parties Awami League and BNP will take part. Your (EC) duty will be ensuring a trustworthy environment," said Zahirul Islam Mamun, chief executive editor of ATN Bangla.
"We all know about the illegal night-time votes, but we [journalists] cannot publish those. How much freedom the country's media is enjoying, everyone knows. If you [EC] and our freedom remain at the same, then what fruits these discussions will produce," he added.
"However, I believe If the EC decides to hold a free-fair election, none can interrupt it," the journalist added.
Bangla Tribune Head of News Masood Kamal said the main challenge of the election commission is gaining people's trust. "People cannot now believe in the words of the election commission. Their faith fell to zero in the past two national elections. So, bringing back the faith and trust should be your priority."
Nagorik Television Head of News Dip Azad said the election commission could hold a fair election with its existing power. "However, the question is whether it would utilise the power or not."
"Maybe this will be your [EC officials] last assignment with an opportunity to serve the people. Please, carry on your work keeping this in mind," said Tawfiq Imrose Khalidi, editor-in-chief of bdnews24.com.
DBC News CEO Manzurul Islam added the main duty of the EC should be arranging acceptable elections.
"Now, electronic voting machines [EVM] are being used, which lacks public faith. The EC must eradicate the crisis," he added.
Chief Election Commission Kazi Habibul Awal, in his speech, said EVM had huge positive sides. "It can reduce muscle power and corruptions over ballot boxes."
He, however, said ensuring the participation of all the political parties in the national election was not their task. "We can only urge but cannot force them to participate in elections."
"We are trying our best with honesty to keep the election free of all types of interference."
The CEC said the key challenge for them is to ensure the attendance of the majority of voters in all the centres. "Irregularities may occur there. We will increase our capability and skill," Habibul Awal said.
Apart from Monday's meeting, the EC held dialogues with educationists, civil society and print media editors earlier.