Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda has expressed satisfaction over yesterday's three city corporation elections, saying the polls were “considerably good”.
“Some irregularities took place in Barisal City Corporation polls but the rest of the elections were peaceful,” he said at his office in the city.
The BNP alleged that the government and the Election Commission jointly staged a farce in the name of elections.
The ruling Awami League said that the BNP was “following its strategy for polls boycott as it wants to create an issue ahead of the upcoming general elections”.
Meanwhile, Left Democratic Alliance (LDA), a platform of eight left-leaning organisations, demanded re-elections to the three city corporations in Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet. It termed the polls “farce”.
Communist party of Bangladesh (CPB) also demanded re-elections, saying the EC “failed to hold fair polls”.
Talking to reporters at the Election Commission, the CEC claimed that peaceful voting was held at all the 138 polling centres in Rajshahi.
In Sylhet, elections at all the 134 centres, except for two, were fair, he said.
In Barisal, voting was postponed at one centre out of total 123 while the results from 15 more polling centres were withheld due to sporadic incidents, the CEC added
At a press conference at the party headquarters at Naya Paltan, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said yesterday's polls were worse than that of Khulna and Gazipur.
“It's not voting, it's a farce in the three cities”.
He alleged that AL men indulged in vote rigging after driving the polling agents of the BNP candidates out of most of the polling centres.
Rizvi also alleged that the ruling party men were aided by law enforcers.
At another press conference at the AL president's Dhanmondi office, party's General Secretary Obaidul Quader said the aim of the BNP was to “make the elections controversial”.
Quader, also the road, transport and bridges minister, claimed that the government foiled the “evil attempt” of the BNP.
BNP did not want to win the elections and the party's mayoral runner for Rajshahi city “staged a drama by not casting his vote”, he said.
“There were no causalities during the three city polls, and thus we can say the elections were held in a free, fair and credible manner,” Quader said.
In a statement, leaders of LDA said the elections were nothing but continuation of government's “absolute rule” that has been established after 2014.
It demanded resignation of the government before the national polls. It also urged it to form a non-partial and acceptable election-time government through discussion.
In another a statement, CPB President Mujahidul Islam Selim and General Secretary Shah Alam said through the three city polls, the government made it clear that there was no scope for free and fair election under the incumbent government and the EC.