Under a democratic polity, the importance of elections at any level of administration, especially the national election for choosing lawmakers by the people, has hardly any scope of elaboration. Gone are the days of monarchy and aristocracy or despotic rule where people, treated only as subjects, had no say as to who would rule over them. Now only a democratically elected government can for a fixed period manage state administration on behalf of the people. It is, therefore, obligatory for any democratic-minded political party or organisation – be that within or outside the government at a certain time – not only to take part in election but also to strengthen this democratic institution. They should also stand in guard against any conspiracy to thwart this egalitarian electoral system.
It is very much in line with this democratic principle that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, while addressing the nation on Friday, called upon all to take part in the next general election to be held by the end of this year as the tenure of the present government expires by the first week of January next year. Quite expectedly, the PM expressed her sincere hope that all registered political parties would participate in the next election – what she emphasised – for maintaining the country’s hard-earned democracy. It is probably clear to all knowledgeable quarters what she meant and whom she delivered the message to.We also strongly hope that the next general election is going to be qualitatively different from the immediate past one in the sense that all stakeholders will take part in it and it will be held in a completely peaceful atmosphere. We see no option for democratic political parties other than making the next national election inclusive; and as the existing political atmosphere indicates, the next parliamentary election is really going to be so.
Disagreements on diverse issues are quite normal in a democratic system. But those differences of opinion cannot stand in the way of successfully holding the greatest political event as long as parties strictly adhere to democratic principles.
The present Election Commission has already demonstrated its credibility and ability of holding free, fair and credible election. Hopefully, the polls-time government will also discharge its duties in a manner acceptable to all. So, there is no scope for any quarter of boycotting or disrupting the most important election.