Bangladesh: Conditions for Free, Fair and Peaceful Elections in CHT
- CONDITIONS FOR FREE, FAIR AND PEACEFUL ELECTIONS IN CHT
General elections in Bangladesh are due to be held in
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
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
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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