Creating a level playing field, main challenge: EC commissioner

The electoral commission considers it very difficult to create a level playing field for all in the 12th national elections, European Commissioner Anisur Rahman said on Sunday.

“It’s a huge challenge for us to create a level playing field for everything we pay attention to. If everyone doesn’t understand, there won’t be a mood to vote. I don’t know if we’ll be successful . But we will keep trying until the end,” he told the media in his office.

“Another challenge is to bring all parties to elections. We will do our best but we are not sure of success,” he added.

Regarding the BNP’s participation in the elections, Anisur said he expected all political parties to join in the elections. “There are 13 months left before the election. Many changes may occur in local and international politics in the meantime,” he added.

Regarding the amendment to the Representation of the People Ordinance (RPO) 1972, the Commissioner said the process was taking a long time for many reasons. However, he expressed his hope of soon obtaining a solution from the ministry.

“The government will cooperate with us to complete the legal process,” he added.

Regarding the use of CCTV cameras during the elections, Anisur said that more than 3,000 CCTV cameras will be used for 300 seats. People involved in various irregularities during the poll have become vigilant because of the cameras, which is very positive, he added.

Regarding the challenge of maintaining the neutrality of the administration on the ground to conduct a fair poll, the electoral commissioner said that everything would remain under his control after the announcement of the election timetable.

“Earlier we saw a massive change in administration on the pitch. I think time will tell,” he said.

Denise W. Whigham