CEC goes silent amid charges city polls were rigged

CEC goes silent amid charges city polls were rigged

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Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad has declined to comment on the environment of the city corporation polls amidst allegations of large-scale rigging.
He was asked about the measures taken to check clashes in polling centres, stuffing of false votes and throwing out of polling agents from the centres on Tuesday.
“You show me (evidence). Show me,” was all he said in response to the allegations in the Dhaka and Chittagong city corporations.Ahmad was in his office at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar since the voting started in the morning
After 11pm, he went to Dhanmondi’s Kakoli High School and Residential Model School and College centres.
By this time, media started reporting on attacks on vote centres, vandalism of ballot boxes, bombings, storming of centres and false votes.
Reporters crowded around CEC Ahmad when he got out of Residential Model School and College. He, however, took no question from them.
After a while, the BNP, which backed mayor and councillor candidates in the polls to Dhaka North, South and Chittagong city corporations, announced boycott of the balloting citing rigging.
Though the CEC declined to speak, Election Commissioner Md Shah Nawaz told bdnews24.com, “We have information that the polling is going on in a fair manner except some sporadic incidents.”
Election Commission officials said the BNP-backed mayor candidates’ announcement to boycott the polls had no legal basis.
They said the returning officers did not get any complaint over irregularities during the vote.
The BNP-backed candidates Tabith Awal, Mirza Abbas and M Manjur Alam were fighting for Dhaka North City Corporation, Dhaka South City Corporation and Chittagong City Corporation, respectively.
About the boycott, Chittagong Returning Officer Abdul Baten said, “Everyone who got an election symbol after the deadline to withdraw candidacy ended is a contender for us.”
“Even though someone announces a boycott of the election, his name and symbol will be in the ballot paper.”
He said votes such candidates drew will also be counted and the results will be announced.
Baten, who is also a deputy secretary to the commission, said no one lodged a written complaint with him citing any specific reason for the boycott.
“If I get any allegation, I will check. There is no scope to do anything without a complaint. But I am checking the allegations brought in the media,” he added.
The returning officers of Dhaka, like CEC Ahmad, were silent over the allegations. – bdnews24.com

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