City election was not fair – TIB. Report of TIB biased – Tofail

City election was not fair – TIB. Report of TIB biased – Tofail

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A ‘weak’ Election Commission has failed to organise free and fair polls to Dhaka and Chittagong city corporations, the Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) says.
“The election was not fair and there was widespread rigging. Even the security forces’ role is questionable,” said TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman on Monday.He released their observation report two weeks after the polls.
Ruling Awami League-endorsed candidates won most posts in the Apr 28 polls that the BNP-backed candidates boycotted midway raising allegations of rigging.
Iftekharuzzaman claimed the EC failed to do its job properly because of weak leadership.
“The election cannot be called free and fair since the EC failed to carry out its constitutional responsibilities and there was partisan influence in most cases,” he said.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed trashed the TIB report as being “biased”.
Former chief election commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda, too, said the election was not what people had expected.
The TIB Trustee Board member also criticised the EC for not taking stern measures against irregularities.
“The EC decided to keep the army in barracks after the government granted its request for deploying army in the polls.
“And so, the EC must take full responsibility if the election is not free and fair,” he added.
Huda said fair election was possible under a partisan government.
“A strong and impartial EC and the use of technology can ensure a free and fair election,” he added.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed however claimed the report was ‘biased’ and the TIB only highlighted negatives sides.
“Several organisations including the TIB did nothing but presented negative reports,” Ahmed said after the TIB report was released.
“How come the BNP, Jamaat-endorsed candidates won councillor posts if the polls were not fair?” the senior Awami League leader asked. – bdnews24.com

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