EC won't take responsibility for violence
The Election Commission would not take responsibility for the violence over union parishad polls, an EC commissioner said yesterday.
"In the local government elections, two groups are locked in clashes. They live in adjacent houses and localities. So, I do not see any reason for Election Commission shouldering responsibility for the clashes," said EC Commissioner Shah Nawaz while talking to reporters at his EC secretariat office.
It is a strange thing that many people say that the responsibility goes to the EC, if violence takes place in any area. The commission is not present everywhere while voting is going on, Shah Nawaz said.
Asked who is responsible for the violence, the commissioner said, "If you [reporters] look into it, you will find who is responsible [for it]."
On March 22, elections to 712 UPs were held across the country in the first phase. Polls to the lowest tier of local government were largely marred by electoral irregularities, stuffing ballot boxes, and clashes between supporters of rival candidates.
Around two dozens people were killed in pre-polls, polling day, and post-polls violence, according to media reports.
Talking to reporters yesterday, Shah Nawaz claimed that the violence took place because of the over enthusiasm of some people.
Polls violence is not a new culture in Bangladesh, he said, adding, "Many people were killed in violence in pervious elections in our country."
Killing and violence occur not only during election time, but also during the normal times, he claimed.
The commissioner, however, hoped incidents of violence would be fewer in the next phases of polls.
"We have taken some strong actions against electoral irregularities in the first phase of polls. We will take stronger actions in the next phases of elections, if anyone commits violence," he said.
The EC has given directives to law enforcers and election officials to do everything for fair polls, Shah Nawaz said.
4TH PHASE POLLS SCHEDULE
Elections to 743 UPs will be held on May 7 across the country.
The last date for filing nomination papers is April 7. Nomination papers will be scrutinised on April 10 and 11 and the last date for withdrawal of nomination papers is April 18.
The EC last night finalised the polls schedule and sent it to the district election officers concerned.
It also asked the district election officers to announce the poll schedule at their respective districts today.
Elections to around 650 UPs will be held on March 31 in the second phase, while around 680 on April 23 in the third phase. Around 1,400 more UPs will go to the polls in two other phases until June.