President Mohammed Shahabuddin on Thursday (Nov 9) asked the Election Commission (EC) to play responsible role with courage and sincerity to hold next national elections in a free, fair and credible manner following the constitutional rules and regulations. "It is not possible for the Election Commission alone to conduct a free and fair election ... A fair and credible election requires active cooperation of the people including the executive department and political parties," he said. The President came up with the comment as an EC delegation led by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal paid a courtesy call on him at Bangabhaban to discuss the polls schedule this noon, local media reported.
The head of state called upon all political parties to come forward to ensure free, fair and participatory polls. The President said the country's democratic trend is must to continue the development of the country. Noting that free, fair elections strengthen democracy, he said, "Democracy and development go hand in hand."
Calling the polls as the most important aspects of reflecting public opinion in the democratic process, the President said, "Through elections, the voters choose their representatives by which people's expectations are fulfilled." He expressed his hoped that the government will extend all-out cooperation to the EC for conducting the upcoming JS election in a free, fair and credible manner.
During the meeting, the President was apprised of the overall preparations for the upcoming 12th general polls by the CEC.
The CEC informed the President that the Election Commission has already held a dialogue with the political parties with the aim of conducting free and fair elections. He also mentioned that necessary instructions have already been given to the executive department and other concerned for smooth completion of the next election.
The Election Commissioners, EC Secretary and Bangabhaban Secretaries were present during the meeting.