Marked by a lower turn out of voters compared to previous fives phases, the sixth and final one held in 12 upazilas on Monday experienced the familiar pattern of electoral irregularities and sporadic violence. Allegedly, the ruling party-backed candidates or their supporters were mostly to blame for offences like intimidation, forcible capture of polling centres, fake voting, ballot stuffing, driving out rival candidates' polling agents from polling centres. Reports have it that two constituencies of Comilla, namely, Comilla Adarsha Sadar and Sadar South upazilas saw the highest propensity for violence and irregularities, while the polls went more or less peacefully at four upazilas of Rangpur and one upazia of Tangail.
In view of media reports on some glaring instances of irregularities, one wonders how Chief Election Commissioner, (CEC), could express unqualified satisfaction over the conduct of the polls. The newspaper reports aside, how would the EC respond to the identical observation on the conduct of the polls made by Brotee, an election watchdog body?
The EC would be well-advised to go over the entire gamut of UZ elections and make an honest assessment of the conduct of the polls. It needs to avoid the pitfalls in order that the public can repose confidence in such an important constitutional body that he heads.