It also criticized the Election Commission’s decision not to allow the media to live telecast from, and use mobile phones inside, polling centres
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed grave concerns over the Election Commission’s indifference regarding incidents of harassment and attacks on opposition activists during electioneering.
In a statement on Tuesday, the watchdog urged the commission to take effective measures to ensure a competitive environment in the upcoming general polls.
“We are continuously witnessing such incidents, via various news media, that indicate that the commission has failed to address these issues,” said TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman.
He said opposition leaders and supporters are not only harassed by their competitors but also become victims of discrimination by law enforcement.
However, the commission is still overlooking these incidents that will spoil the level playing field during the election, Iftekharuzzaman said, adding that this attitude from a constitutional institution is “shameful and totally unacceptable”.
He blamed the commission for not controlling law enforcement and the district administration efficiently after the announcement of the election schedule.
TIB also criticized the commission’s decision not to allow the media to live telecast and use mobile phones inside polling centres.
People might think the decision was made to facilitate vote rigging and violence during the polls, it said.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda, last Saturday, said journalists cannot live telecast or place telephone conversations from a polling booth during voting in the upcoming general election.
He, however, said journalists can use mobile phones to take photographs inside polling booths; except in the private place to fill out ones ballot.
The presiding officer of a centre will determine how many reporters can enter a polling booth at a time—taking its size into consideration, Nurul Huda added.