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Dhaka Tribune

No immediate action from EC on allegations

Update : 19 Feb 2014, 09:22 PM

The Election Commission has not taken any immediate action regarding political parties’ influence on the upazila parishad polls and violence reported yesterday from a number of constituencies. The chief election commissioner said the election was free and fair.

Talking to the media yesterday evening, CEC Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad claimed that the first phase polls to 97 upazila parishads had been held in a free and fair manner despite some stray incidents as the EC had taken all-out steps to hold the elections peacefully.

He said voting had been stopped in several upazilas, including Ullapara and Sonatola in Sirajganj and Shoilakupa in Jhenaidah.

EC sources said the candidates backed by the 19-party alliance and the rebel candidates of the ruling Awami League of Lalmohan upazila in Bhola, Shoilakupa in Jhenaidah, Sujanagar in Pabna, Gouronodi and Bakerganj in Barisal, Goshaierhat in Shariatpur and Kazipur in Sirajganj had boycotted the polls alleging vote rigging by the candidates supported by the ruling party.

When his attention was drawn to these reports the CEC said the commission could take action only in case of reports from the returning officer in writing.

The BNP alleged that the ruling Awami League had influenced the polls and rigged votes.

Kazi Rakibuddin, however, said it was not a matter of any political party as the upazila parishad polls were non-partisan. Only candidates could submit allegations or complaints to the returning officer about violation of electoral code of conduct.

“All allegations are equally important to us. All candidates can file allegations in writing to the returning and presiding officers and officials concerned will take action immediately,” he said.

The CEC said the commission would leave no stone unturned to hold the next phases of the local body elections peacefully.

On voters’ turnout, he said: “The commission will not now declare the turnout of voters on the basis of any speculation. It will be announced after getting official results.”

EC officials said before the elections many candidates backed by the 19-party alliance had submitted allegations about the ruling party candidates’ influence on the polls and attacks on them.

An official said the EC had not taken the allegations into cognisance and it would take action only against specific allegations sent by the returning officer.

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