FORGOTTEN CODE OF CONDUCT
On November 19, we three political alliances, believing in the spirit of the Liberation War, presented a common outline for the removal of autocrat Ershad and for a transition to democracy through free and neutral elections to a sovereign parliament.
An undaunted Noor Hossain with the slogan “freedom to democracy” inscribed on his back confronting law enforcers during the hartal on August 21, 1989. His death on the street soon after ultimately speeded up Ershad’s fall. Deposed president HM Ershad being taken to a special court from his special jail in Gulshan in connection with various corruption charges after his fall.
Ershad’s autocratic government has been brought down through a successful mass upsurge. The parliamentary election will be held in the country on February 27, 1991 under an interim and caretaker government led by the acting president selected by us as per constitution.
The democratic process can advance through a recognition of democracy at all levels, development and practice of democratic values. Moreover, the conspiracy by the collaborators of autocracy has been going on to destroy the people’s victory by hindering the democratic process. So we on behalf of the three alliances have demanded the arrest of the collaborators of Ershad’s autocratic government and recovery of illegal arms. We have also pledged not to take any identified accomplice of autocracy in any of the parties of our alliances.
Holding a free and neutral election has become a national duty for establishing democracy in the country. We believe the people, who have emerged victorious at this stage of democratic movement through the sacrifices of hundreds of martyrs, will fulfill their national duty of holding a free and neutral election with responsibility. They will foil all conspiracies to mar the election.
We, the leaders of the three alliances, urge the workers of our parties and the people to fulfill our following pledges for holding a free and neutral election.
1. The political parties in the three alliances will follow general democratic norms of mutual respect and tolerance of others’ views in their electoral statements and activities. The parties in the alliances will always try to instill democratic spirit in their workers.
2. All will try so that the political parties in the three alliances can publicize their own opinions and special features through independent and legal ways. Combined attempts will be made so that offices, public meetings, rallies and processions do not come under attack.
3. The parties in the three alliances will refrain from publicizing slander or make derogatory remarks about other parties’ patriotism and religious beliefs. The parties will not support communalism and will unitedly resist communal propaganda.
4. The parties in the three alliances are making a pledge to shun confrontation in carrying out electoral activities. Our earlier announcement of not taking into the political parties of the three alliances the identified collaborators of Ershad’s autocratic government and holders of illegal arms will be strictly enforced.
The parties will keep vigil so that the voters can exercise their right to vote independently and peace and discipline is maintained in the polling centres.
5. The parties in the three alliances will not try to influence the administration or law enforcing agencies in their own electoral interest. They will try to uphold the neutrality of the administration.
6. The three alliances will try to ensure that the mass media can play an independent and neutral role. If any false and confusing news is published united protests will be made.
7. For free and neutral election if any incident of undemocratic provocation happens attempts will be made immediately to resolve the matter through talks. Permanent contact will be set up at national and local levels to ensure that this policy is followed at all levels.
8. We unitedly make the following proposals for ensuring free and fair voting on the polling day:
a) To ensure supervision of proper distribution of all ballot papers in the constituencies,
b) Recording final results at the polling centre after the ballots are counted, steps to give certified copies of the results of the centre to the polling agents of the candidates,
c) Resisting any attempt for dishonesty and media coup in gathering polling results, announcing it and publicizing it,
d)Ensuring neutrality of the administration and maintaining peaceful environment in the polling centres,
e) Strict measures to prevent vote rigging and corruption,
f) Ensuring observance of a ceiling on electoral expenses for the candidates effectively.
9. The parties in the three alliances will take forward the democratic process by accepting people’s mandate given through the elections.
Submitted by priyodesk