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Election commissioner: Violence is a part of our political culture

  • Published at 05:53 pm December 21st, 2018
File Photo: BNP activists burn police vehicles near BNP Office at Naya Paltan, Dhaka on November 14, 2018 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Election Commissioner Rafiqul Islam made the remark while attending a workshop about raising awareness on women’s participation, safety and security in polls

Election Commissioner Rafiqul Islam has said the ongoing violence among political parties ahead of the 11th general election is a part of political culture in Bangladesh.

“Isolated incidents of attacks and violence are taking place across Bangladesh prior to the election. However, the situation has not yet gone out of control. Such occurrences are a part of polls culture here,” he said while talking to reporters at a workshop in Rajshahi city Friday morning.

The workshop was held on raising awareness on women’s participation, safety and security in polls.

Also Read- General election: UN closely following situation in Bangladesh

It was organized by the Election Commission in association with the United Nations (UN) Women, UNDP and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

In response to a question by reporters about women’s participation as polls officials, Rafiqul said: “Considering the security issues, women have been kept out of serving as presiding officers.”

“We did not choose women as presiding officers because it would have shown disrespect to them, and they would be kept separate from their families”, he added.

A spate of attacks on political offices, rallies for polls campaign, opposition leaders and activists have been going on for the past two weeks across the country ahead of the 11th general election slated for December 30.

Also Read- Election violence: UN human rights experts express concerns

Amid opposition parties’ accusation about the Election Commission’s inaction on the matter, Election Commission Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed on Thursday said the situation will improve once the army is deployed on December 24.