DE Online Desk
Chief election commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal on Saturday called upon the voters to exercise their voting rights freely braving all fears and concerns.
‘I urge all voters to cast your valuable votes to your favourite candidate freely and fearlessly tomorrow,’ the CEC said in a televised address to the nation this evening.
‘Cast your vote with enthusiasm and festivity to discharge your civic responsibility in forming the next parliamentary government,’ he said.
‘Vote is yours. Don’t be influenced by anyone’s persuasion or intervention. If you face any kind of obstacle, immediately inform the presiding officer,’ he added.
The CEC asked the presiding officers to discharge their responsibility to ensure voters’ right by any means.
Police and magistrates will stay in all polling centres to extent all-out cooperation to the presiding officers, he said.
All modes of transports will ply except motorcycle, microbus, taxicab and truck to facilitate the voters to reach the polling centres, the CEC said.
Habibul Awal reiterated the commission’s commitment in discharging duty with utmost honesty and sincerity to hold a free, fair, neutral and peaceful election with the cooperation of all stakeholders.
A total of 28 political parties are contesting the election as 1971 candidates are vying for it in 299 constituencies out of total 300, he said.
Around 12 crore people are eligible voters in this election while the number of polling centres is 42,000 and voting will be held in 2,62,000 booths across the country, said the CEC.
Around eight lakh government employees will discharge their duties in voting while around 3,000 executive and judicial magistrates side by side with eight lakh law enforcers including Army will be on duty to maintain law and order and ensure public security, he mentioned.
Habibul Awal said around 23,000 local and around 200 foreign observers will work in the polls while adequate number of local and foreign journalists will also be in field to observe the polls and collect photographs and information.
He urged all candidates and voters to abide by the election related rules and regulations.
He also urged all candidates to appoint required number of bold, honest, efficient and obedient polling agents at centres to protect their respective rights and interest and prevent any vote rigging.
The CEC also asked all officers involved in election duty to discharge their responsibility with sincerity and honesty and apply all law and electoral rules and regulations.
Any kind of negligence and dishonesty won’t be tolerated, he warned.
He asked law enforcers to ensure overall security of voters and all others related to elections.
If any information or proof of vote rigging, snatching of ballot papers, transaction of money and exercising of muscle power in favour of any candidate can be found, his or her candidacy will be cancelled immediately, he said.
If required, voting in concerned constituency or polling centre will be stopped, he said.
He also urged the people to resist any sorts of electoral irregularity and unjust. Congenial political environment is needed for a free, neutral, participatory and festive election, the CEC said.
It cannot be denied that there is difference of opinion among political leaderships in view of election, but any kind of conflict and violence is not expected following difference of opinion, he added.
It cannot be said that sabotage and violence is not taking place by any means as people are dying and getting injured apart from state property and assets are being damaged, he said.
Even innocent children, women and men faced tragic deaths, he said, adding that permanent solution and end of the current circumstance is needed. He urged the political leaderships to be sincere in this regard.
DE Online Desk