Editorial

Narayanganj polls could show the way

Update:

The Narayanganj City Corporation polls on Thursday were held in a peaceful and fair manner. We congratulate Selina Hayat Ivy on her win. We also thank her closest contender Sakhawat Hossain Khan. The two of them contested under the respective symbols of the ruling Awami League and the opposition BNP, but did so in a dignified and decent manner, without the usual mud-slinging and agitation.

This may have been a local government election, but the entire nation’s attention was riveted on it. Firstly, the previous elections under the present election commission were questionable. There were numerous allegations of partiality and inefficacy against the commission. The last union parishad elections were so controversial that the election commission’s image was tarnished, badly. The people lost faith in this constitutional institution. The BNP and is allies openly stated that credible elections were not possible under this commission.

The Narayanganj polls, however, indicated that it was possible to hold credible elections. Even the BNP has not raised any questions about it. Its candidate Sakhawat Hossain Khan did make comments about subtle rigging, but his protests were drowned out by the festive celebrations of the people in Narayanganj. In fact, Selina Hayat Ivy took sweets to Sakhawat Hossain’s house and he contended that if she worked for all people regardless of party affiliation, he would extend all cooperation.

This election could be a model. The two main opposition candidates maintained peace and discipline throughout their campaigns. Even after the elections their behaviour has been exemplary. This is a mindset that needs to be seen at the level of national politics as well. It was this mentality that was responsible for the free and peaceful elections.

The ruling Awami League and the opposition BNP displayed restraint throughout this election. It is hoped that the two parties grow mutual respect and an effective political relationship with each other on a national level.

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