He also said the administration is alert against any sort of manipulation, adding that helicopters will be used for surveillance activities around important spots of the district
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda on Tuesday said that election commissioner (EC) Mahbub Talukdar’s statement regarding “absence of a level playing field” ahead of the 11th general election is not true.
“He (EC Mahbub) said that a level playing field is non-existent, which is absolutely not true,” he remarked, “the entire country has an overall election-friendly environment, where every candidate of every party can campaign regardless of any threats.”
Speaking to reporters after attending a law enforcement-related views exchange discussion of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), he also said that EC Mahbub has all the right to exercise his freedom of speech, as per Article 39 of the Bangladesh constitution, and that is what he did.
“Everyone will be able to cast their votes peacefully nationwide,” the CEC added, while instructing law enforcers and concerned polling officials not to get intimidated by influential politicians or their workers in their respective regions.
“December 30’s election is very important for the country,” he also said, “I hope polls at CHT will also be festive as in other regions of the country.”
He also said the administration is alert against any sort of manipulation, adding that helicopters will be used for surveillance activities around important spots of the district.
Regarding deactivating mobile networks during the election, Nurul Huda said that no decision has been taken so far, but they are likely to remain operational.
“Additional forces will be assigned to polling centres across CHT,” the CEC said, in addition to administrative officers, members of the armed forces, police, RAB, police, BGB and Ansar.
A record number of over 1800 candidates are participating in the upcoming election, he stated, adding that a few separate incidents of clashes have been reported, but the overall situation is satisfactory.
Among others, election commissioner Brig Gen (retd) Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury, EC secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed and many more senior officials were also present during the discussion.