Election Commissioner Rafiqul Islam on Thursday termed Rangpur City Corporation polls a ‘model election’ saying that it was held amid a festive mood.
“The Rangpur City Corporation election was held in a festive mood. We earlier promised to hold a model election there. This has been a model election finally,” he told a post-election briefing at the city’s Nirbachan Bhaban.
The Election Commissioner said though the BNP’s allegation is not authentic as per the EC’s information gathered from the field, the Commission will examine the accusation.
BNP at a press briefing earlier in the day alleged that the administration obstructed voters from going to some polling stations, while polling agents were ousted from some centres during the city corporation election.
Rafiqul said though the incidents of throwing brickbats occurred in only one polling station, the law enforcers brought the situation under control immediately in response to the Election Commission’s instruction.
Earlier at about 2:30pm, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda told reporters that they were happy with the overall election situation in Rangpur.
Trashing BNP’s allegation, he said, “We’ve gleaned information from the local level. Voters didn’t come up with any complaint. So, we think the allegation is not authentic,”
About the use of newly designed electronic voting machines in one polling station, Nurul Huda said there had been no problem in its use. “Voters are also happy and impressed with the EVM use.”
He said they will use EVM in the next local elections on a small scale. “However, it won’t be possible to use EVM in the upcoming national election,” said the CEC.
Earlier the voting was held from 8am to 4pm without any break at 193 polling stations in the city corporation in a peaceful atmosphere.
Seven candidates are there in the election race for the mayoral post, while 211 candidates for ward councillors and 65 women candidates for reserved councilors.
Sarfuddin Ahmed of Awami League, Md Mostafizur Rahman of Jatiya Party and Kawsar Jahan Babla of BNP among the mayoral contenders.
A total of 3,93,994 voters — 1,96,356 men and 1,97,638 women -– were supposed to cast votes to elect one mayor, 33 ward councillors and 11 councillors to the reserved seats of women in the election.
The election was held with the polls symbols of political parties unlike its maiden election held on December 20, 2012, when pro-Awami League Sarfuddin Ahmed (Jhantu) was elected mayor defeating his nearest rival Mostafizur Rahman.