DHAKA: Senior journalists today suggested the Election Commission (EC) not to compromise with any unethical issues in holding a fair and acceptable election. They urged the EC to ensure participation of all political parties in the next 11th parliamentary elections to make it a successful one.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda was in the chair at the EC's Nirbachan Bhaban conference room, said Acting Secretary of EC Secretariat Helaluddin Ahmed at a press briefing held after the dialogue. Jatiya Press Club president Muhammad Shafiqur Rahman, its general secretary Farida Yeasmin, Manabzamin editor Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, Jugantor acting editor Saiful Alam, News Today editor Reazuddin Ahmed, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) president Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul and its general secretary Omar Faruk, New Age editor Nurul Kabir, Sangbad executive editor Khandaker Muniruzzaman, Kaler Kantho executive editor Mostafa Kamal, Bangladesh Pratidin editor Naem Nizam, Amader Orthoneeti editor Nayeemul Islam Khan, Bhorer Kagoj editor Shyamol Dutta, Daily Manobkantha acting editor Anis Alamgir, journalists Mahfuzullah, Kazi Siraj and Amanullah Kabir, columnists Sohrab Hasan, Mahbub Kamal and Bibhurangan Sarkar, Ittefaq managing editor Ashish Saikat, Jaijaidin editor Kazi Rokunuddin Ahmad and Shaptahik editor Golam Mortuza.
Helaluddin Ahmed said the media men hoped that the next parliamentary elections will be held with the participation of all political parties. The media persons also advised the EC to ensure proper application of electoral laws for strengthening polls system, have careful look on engaging election observers from home and abroad, apply strictly election code of conduct, bar using illegal money and muscle power and give opportunity to submit nomination papers through online, Ahmed said.
He said, most of journalists suggested for not deploying army in the election. The journalists, however, said the EC can decide in this regard, Ahmed added. The media persons also advised to introduce a 'no-vote' provision. Manzurul Ahsan Bulbul said election is a political festival. Most of the journalists gave their opinions opposing deployment of army in the polls while some suggested for deploying army as the striking force, he added.
"All the journalists advocated for a fair and inclusive election," he told reporters after the meeting. Bangladesh Pratidin editor Naem Nizam said, "We gave opinions to ensure a favourable environment for the participation of all political parties and proper implementation of existing electoral rules."
In the second phase of its dialogue, the Election Commission will sit with electronic and online media persons on Thursday. The EC invited 37 electronic and online media persons on the second day. The Commission will seek opinions from the media persons over different issues, including electoral law reform and delimitation of constituencies, updating of voter list, fixation of polling stations and awarding registration to new political parties. On July 31 last, the EC started its dialogue with civil society members.