Narayanganj City election outwardly fair, concerns remain: BNP
Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2016-12-22 20:17:26.0 BdST Updated: 2016-12-22 20:17:26.0 BdST
The BNP has said the Narayanganj City Corporation elections ‘seem fair on the surface’, but that there was still the possibility of ‘last minute voter fraud and engineering’.
The comments were made by BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi during a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Dhaka’s Naya Paltan on Thursday, after the polls closed.
“Aside from a few small cases here and there the elections seem to have been conducted fairly, at least on the surface,” he said.
“But we are not sure what is to come. After all, once votes are counted, there remains the matter of the result announcement. What could happen between now and then, who can say?”
According to Rizvi, the ‘voting results have been altered and elections have been rigged’ several times under the current Awami League administration.
“We are worried about some last-minute engineering."
Rizvi called upon the Election Commission, local administration and law-enforcing agencies to watch out for it.
“Our demand remains – stay vigilant and let no one evade your oversight until votes are counted and the results are announced.”
He also asked agents to stay inside polling stations and keep activists and supporters out until results ar declared.
He added that the BNP would provide its official reaction after the results.
The party has expressed its concern over the fairness of Narayanganj’s first party-based city corporation election several times. It had requested the deployment of the troops, but the idea was dismissed by the EC.
There has been relief from all quarters after the balloting ended without a report of unrest. Both the Awami League candidate Selina Hayat Ivy and her BNP challenger Sakhawat Hossain Khan have said they are ready to accept the will of the people.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has said the party has fulfilled its promise of a fair, secure and festive election for the people.
Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed has also expressed his happiness at the violence-free voting.
But this has not allayed all of the BNP’s concerns.
“We still have concerns,” said Rizvi at the press conference. “In some cases, under this administration, ballot boxes were stuffed in the early hours of the morning.”
Rizvi also criticised the public voting of local MP AKM Shamim Osman, saying it had broken election laws.
“It is simply a way of flaunting power,” said Rizvi. “One that is not approved by democracy. And it shows the attitude of the government.”
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