KM Nurul Huda promises to have the alleged irregularities in Barisal investigated
The chief election commissioner (CEC) has expressed his satisfaction over the elections in three cities despite allegations of vote rigging and other irregularities.
The voting took place peacefully apart from some stray incidents in Barisal and Sylhet, KM Nurul Huda said at a press briefing at the Election Commission office in Dhaka’s Agargaon on Monday evening.
“I am satisfied,” he said, before admitting that “some irregularities” took place at some polling centres in those two cities.
“But the presiding officers took immediate measures in that regard,” he said
Afterwards, one centre in Barisal was closed and results of 15 other centres were postponed.
There were a total of 123 centres in Barisal.
Also, voting was suspended at two out of 134 centres in Sylhet following similar irregularities.
The CEC said the alleged irregularities at all these centres would be investigated. “Then we will decide our next course of action.”
Compared to those cities, polls in Rajshahi was more peaceful with no major disruptive activities reported from its 138 centres.
The elections to Sylhet, Barisal and Rajshahi city corporations were held between 8am and 4pm on Monday.
During the briefing, when asked, CEC Huda also said that alleged harassment of Socialist Party of Bangladesh’s Barisal mayoral candidate Manisha Chakraborty by ruling party activists would also be investigated.
“I can also suggest the victim to file a case in this regard, if she wants,” he added.
Political parties have taken these city elections seriously as they come only months before the 11th national polls, testing popularity and political might.
Awami League has claimed that free and fair voting had taken place in the three cities.
However, the BNP mayoral runners in Barisal and Sylhet have boycotted the polls alleging gross violation of rules and irregularities and demanded cancellation of the votes.
The party’s mayor candidate in Rajshahi, Mohammad Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul, did not even cast his vote in protest against irregularities.
Regarding this, the CEC said that Bulbul’s decision was his own, and declined to comment further.