Friday, September 21, 2018 03:02:50 PM
The European Union has called for investigations into irregularities in Tuesday's city polls, claiming it has "credible" reports of rigging, intimidation and violence.The 28-nation bloc in a statement on Wednesday also called political parties to refrain from violence.It urged them to engage in a "constructive manner" for the long-term stability and "democratic development" of Bangladesh.The ruling Awami League-backed candidates swept fraud-marred Dhaka and Chittagong city polls. Its main rival BNP boycotted the elections halfway through the polling. "Voters were not given an opportunity to express fully their democratic choice," the EU said on Wednesday. "Irregularities and acts of violence must now be thoroughly investigated." The UN, US, and the UK earlier called for impartial investigations into all allegations of irregularities. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, however, said people rejected the BNP in what she said was a "free and fair" balloting.The city polls were conducted just a few months after the anniversary of the violence-marred BNP-boycotted general elections held on Jan 5 last year. But the BNP endorsed its candidates in the city polls, ending its marathon countrywide blockade to press for snap general elections.The international community had, earlier, called for a peaceful, inclusive and transparent election.