Election Commissioner M Shahnewaz on Tuesday turned down BNP’s allegation that the Commission has hurriedly announced the municipal election schedule at the government’s behest, saying it is a false statement.“You all know we’ve been saying since June that we’ll arrange the municipality polls in December. If now anyone says we announce the election schedule quickly at any body’s dictate, it’s totally a false and untrue statement,” he said.
Shahnewaz came up with the remarks while talking to reporters at his office.
As per the schedule, the elections to 236 municipalities out of the country’s 323 ones will be held on December 30.
On Sunday, BNP demanded deferment of the polls by at least 15 days, creating a level-playing field, stopping police harassment of its workers and releasing its detained leaders and activists, including the acting secretary general.
However, the Commission on Monday turned down the party’s demand for deferring the municipal elections and decided to hold the polls as per the current schedule due to legal complications.
Reacting to the EC’s decision, BNP spokesman Asaduzzaman Ripon on Tuesday said the Commission did it as it always thinks what will make the government happy or annoyed.
Earlier, BNP alleged that the municipal election schedule was announced hurriedly.
As some journalists drew his attention to BNP’s allegations, Shahnewaz said the allegations are not true. “We’re completely neutral and there’ll be a fair election.”
He warned that they will take stern action if anyone violates the election code of conduct.
The Election Commissioner said if the candidates want to hold any wayside rally or indoor meeting they must have permission from law enforcers 24 hours ahead of the programme for public safety.
Talking to reporters, another Election Commissioner Mohammad Jabed Ali said the commission has nothing to do if BNP’s prospective candidates are arrested in criminal cases.
“We cannot do anything if any one is arrested in criminal cases,” he said when journalists sought his comment over BNP’s allegation that their prospective candidates are being arrested.