Elections and violence cannot go hand in hand, says Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar
Alluding to instances of oddities in the second phase of municipal elections held on Saturday, Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar said the polls could not be called "participatory".
In a written statement, the election commissioner said he had visited 18 booths of three polling stations of Savar municipality on Saturday and saw that around 1,232 out of 7,311 voters had cast their votes till 1pm, according to media reports.
“I saw polling agents of three opposition party candidates in three booths, but no agents anywhere else. Moreover, in the Savar municipal area, I didn’t see any posters of the opposition party candidates,” Mahbub said.
“In this context, the elections cannot be called participatory. An election is not successful if it is not participatory,” he remarked.
Talking about the instances of violence centering on the municipal polls, the election commissioner said elections and violence could not go hand in hand.
“This violence cannot be stopped unless changes are brought about in the electoral process,” he observed.
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Human lives were more valuable than any election, said Election Commissioner Mahbub.
Meanwhile, the BNP alleged that ruling party supporters kept most polling stations captive during the Saturday polls, just like it was during the general elections, reports UNB.
"We have information that the ruling party didn’t allow our polling agents to go to centres in [Saturday’s] municipal elections. They were driven out of the centres in many places,” said BNP Standing Committee Member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain.
Several incidents of violence centering around the polls took place during the election campaigns in several municipalities since Tuesday. At least two persons involved with the polls were killed as of Friday, while many others sustained injuries.