No irregularities were reported, says the CEC
The Election Commission has rejected the Transparency International Bangladesh’s (TIB) primary report reviewing the 11th general election process and pointing out the irregularities that took place before and during the vote.
“This report is totally wrong and baseless. We absolutely reject it. Newspapers also did not run reports either on such irregularities,” Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda said on Wednesday.
He made the remarks while responding to queries from journalists, after a program at the Election Training Institute in Dhaka’s Agargoan in the afternoon.
Asked whether they were depending on media reports only to reach that conclusion, he said: “We did not find irregularities even after collecting information from everyone, including all of our field level officials, executive and judicial magistrates and enquiry committee.
“No irregularities were reported.”
TIB on Tuesday unveiled its report made after surveying randomly selected 50 out of 299 constituencies during the December 30 election, which it found partially participatory.
It recommended a judicial inquiry into the irregularities, saying such incidents had plagued one or multiple polling centres in 47 constituencies.
The anti-graft watchdog’s Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman also said that Election commission during the polls had showed a discriminatory attitude and called its role embarrassing.
When his attention was drawn to the matter, CEC Huda said: “Such comment is indecorous and inappropriate. They should not have made such remarks.”
According to the TIB report, apart from other irregularities, fake votes were cast in 41 constituencies and ballot boxes were stuffed on the night before the election day in 33 seats.
It also said polling stations were occupied in 30 constituencies and polling agents obstructed in 29 constituencies. Voters were forced to vote for a particular symbol in 26 constituencies while opposition leaders and activists were beaten up in 11 constituencies.
Hours after the report was unveiled, Election Commissioner Md Rafiqul Islam on Tuesday had also rejected it, terming it “predetermined and imaginary.”