CEC rejects BNP`s allegations of rigging31 March 2017 bdnews24.com
The Election Commission has 'fully succeeded' in achieving public confidence through Comilla City Corporation election, its chief KM Nurul Huda has said.
The bypolls to Sunamganj-2 parliamentary seat were also held on Thursday, but discussions centred upon the Comilla civic polls with candidates of the two major parties competing in it for the mayor's post.
Briefing the media in Dhaka after the voting ended in the afternoon, CEC Huda said, "We have succeeded in achieving everyone's confidence through fair polls. Our claim is that we have been able to conduct a successful election." The CEC claimed the election was peaceful barring some 'sporadic incidents', though the BNP has alleged that the EC has failed to prevent the ruling Awami League from applying muscle powers.
BNP leader Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said, "After midday voting, the Awami League activists took control of polling stations and went on a rigging frenzy." After the formation of the current EC in February, this is the first election with the two major parties fighting with their electoral symbols.
"All eyes were on the Comilla election because it was full of political contest. And we have taken steps to make the polls peaceful and acceptable to all," the CEC said.
The current EC has been saying it wants to gain public confidence through work. Both the BNP and Awami League said the Comilla city polls were a test for the new EC. But the CEC told the media: "We don't want to sit for any more test. We have taken many exams since childhood…now it's time to work. We are pledge-bound to work honestly and sincerely." According to Huda, the Sunamganj polls were 'entirely' peaceful while some 'sporadic incidents' occurred in Comilla, leading to closure of voting in two stations.
He also said all the allegations brought by the BNP were investigated at field level.
"We don't have specific information on who influenced the election. But we closed down the centres where irregularities took place. We also foiled attempts to bring disorder at several places with only a few minutes' efforts." "Such fair polls will continue in the future," he said.
About the complaints faxed by the BNP from Comilla, the CEC said, "The secretary supervised the monitoring. We inquired at field level and found that most of the allegations were not true. Steps were taken in some cases. But nothing huge happened there." He also said the allegations that the law enforcers did not cooperate with the voters and helped the supporters of the ruling party were not true.