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Bangladesh: Conditions for Free, Fair and Peaceful Elections in CHT

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  • Peace Campaign Group
    CONDITIONS FOR FREE, FAIR AND PEACEFUL ELECTIONS IN CHT General elections in Bangladesh are due to be held in January 2007. The country has already suffered a
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2006
      CONDITIONS FOR FREE, FAIR AND PEACEFUL ELECTIONS IN CHT


      General elections in Bangladesh are due to be held in
      January 2007.

      The country has already suffered a lot in terms of economic
      and human lose for the violent confrontation between the
      4-party ruling alliance and the 14-party oppositions over
      the conditions for free and fair elections.

      Free and fair elections are essential parts of the whole
      exercise of a democracy. Bangladesh claims itself to be an
      “Islamic democracy”. If the claim bears any indication, one
      can hope that both the ruling and opposition parties should
      soon be able to reach an understanding on mutually
      acceptable conditions for this exercise, because people of
      Bangladesh cannot afford any more lose.

      The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is different from rest of
      the country in terms of its history, demography, law in
      force and special administrative set-up. It is a home to 11
      distinct indigenous peoples collectively known as “Jumma”.
      It has a special administration governed with the Acts
      passed under the CHT Accord of 1997. Bearing these facts in
      mind, Peace Campaign Group feels that the following
      conditions are must for free, fair and peaceful elections
      in CHT:


      1. Making the CHT voter list with "only permanent
      residents" according to the CHT Accord;

      2. Withdrawal of the “temporary military and para-military
      camps” from the CHT, full de-militarization of the CHT
      administration and enforcing the CHT local government
      according to the CHT Accord;

      3. A Neutral and non-biased Election Commission and
      officers involved in the whole election process starting
      from proper, safe and secure environment from voting to
      vote counting and declaration of the election results;

      4. Involvement of Jumma polling officers in the election
      process;

      5. Arranging full security cover for voters by “local
      police” to be formed according to the CHT Accord; and

      6. Involvement of international observers from the United
      Nations, European Commission and United States of America
      in the election process.

      Peace Campaign Group encourages the United Nations,
      European Commission, United States of America and India to
      engage in the election process and share their best
      election practices with Bangladesh and the CHT local government.

      Peace Campaign Group (PCG)
      RZ-I-91/211, West Sagarpur, New Delhi-110046, India
      Tel: + 91-11-2 539 8383
      Telefax: + 91-11-2 539 4277
      E-mail: pcgoffice@..., pcgonline@...



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