• Thursday, December 18, 2014

Freedom in the air

Nothing wrong in voting: EC

Staff Correspondent
People identified as supporters of AL-backed chairman candidate Mosharraf Hossain cast fake votes at West Bapta Govt Primary School polling station in Bhola yesterday morning. Photo: Star
People identified as supporters of AL-backed chairman candidate Mosharraf Hossain cast fake votes at West Bapta Govt Primary School polling station in Bhola yesterday morning. Photo: Star

The Election Commission has found nothing wrong with the casting of an unusual number of votes in some polling stations during the upazila polls yesterday.
“It's very nice. People in some places have become very smart. This can happen,” said Election Commissioner Abdul Mobarak, who is acting as the chief election commissioner.
He made the remarks while responding to a query by newsmen about the casting of six votes in a minute in some polling stations in Comilla and Chandpur.
Mobarak's colleague Shah Nawaz, however, termed the question unrealistic. “It's not possible by any means. The question is unrealistic.”
The two election commissioners were speaking at a press conference at the media centre of the EC secretariat around two hours after voting concluded amid violence, suspension of voting, allegations of vote rigging, fake vote casting and assault on election officials in more than two dozen upazilas.
The EC expressed satisfaction over the third phase of upazila polls, claiming that voting had ended peacefully across the country except for some stray incidents of violence.
“Out of more than 5,000 polling stations, voting was suspended only in 26. We are satisfied with the polls and we thank the Almighty that the voting was held peacefully in general,” said Mobarak.

 

Ballot papers torn and boxes vandalised by supporters of BNP favourite Faruk Mia at Alia Madrasa centre in the sadar upazila. Photo: Star
Ballot papers torn and boxes vandalised by supporters of BNP favourite Faruk Mia at Alia Madrasa centre in the sadar upazila. Photo: Star

About the deaths caused by electoral violence, he said, “People may die for many reasons other than election violence. It all depends on the wishes of the Almighty.”
He added: “Given the situation in Bangladesh, it is impractical to think that elections will be totally free from violence. It will take a long time to change this practice in our country.”
The EC, said the commissioner, had taken all necessary measures to check violence, but violence had broken out in some places.

Female voters wait in line to cast their votes at the Maria Govt Primary School polling station in Charghata of Rajshahi yesterday. Photo: Banglar Chokh
Female voters wait in line to cast their votes at the Maria Govt Primary School polling station in Charghata of Rajshahi yesterday. Photo: Banglar Chokh


Those who committed violence and violated electoral laws will not be spared, warned Mobarak.
Stern action will be taken if allegations of negligence or irregularities of duties against any polling officials or law enforcers are proved, he asserted.

Published: 12:02 am Sunday, March 16, 2014

Last modified: 11:14 pm Sunday, March 16, 2014

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