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Election Commission Secy: Municipal polls held fairly, peacefully

  • Published at 10:05 pm January 16th, 2021
Voter queue
Long lines of female voters at Paota Government Primary School to cast their franchise in the Santahar municipality polls in Bogra district on Saturday, January 16, 2021 Dhaka Tribune

‘It is not the Election Commission’s responsibility to ensure everyone’s participation in elections’

The overall situation in the municipal elections was very good, according to Election Commission Senior Secretary Md Alamgir. 

Citing media reports, Alamgir said the elections were held in a fair and peaceful manner. 

“People voted fairly and peacefully. The elections were held in an excellent manner thanks to the cooperation of all, including the law enforcement agencies,” the senior secretary said. 

Md Alamgir was talking to reporters at the election office in the capital’s Agargaon at the end of the polls on Saturday. 

Asked about instances of violence centering around the municipal elections, the senior secretary said: “What happened about one or two incidents is absolutely negligible.”

He continued: “You can always find a handful of opportunistic miscreants in some areas who try to disrupt the election environment. They tried to disrupt the elections [second phase of municipal polls], but it was handled by the members of law enforcement agencies. They [miscreants] were not given a chance to ruin the electoral environment.”

Also read - EC Mahbub Talukdar: Municipal polls cannot be called participatory

He said miscreants had tried to snatch ballot papers from two voting centres — one in Rajshahi and the other in Kishoreganj. The presiding officers of the centres suspended voting at the two stations.

Apart from these two anomalies, voting went off without a hitch at all other centres in 60 municipalities, the senior secretary claimed. 

“Violence was reported at one or two of the 650 polling stations. This is not a big deal. And in our country, these things happen in every election to some degree,” he said. 

Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar had earlier said that Saturday’s elections could not be called "participatory".

Queried about the commissioner’s statement, Alamgir said: “A participatory election and a fair election are two completely different matters. The Election Commission’s responsibility is to hold neutral elections.”

It is not the commission’s job to ensure everyone’s participation, he added.

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