12:00 AM, December 19, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:40 AM, December 19, 2018

EC indifferent to attacks on opposition candidates: TIB

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) yesterday expressed concern over Election Commission's (EC) “inaction” in addressing rampant violation of electoral codes and harassment of opposition parties' candidates.

Issuing a press statement, TIB urged the EC to take effective and visible measures immediately in order to ensure a level-playing field for all political parties in the election.

It also called upon the law enforcement agencies to play a neutral role and earn people's trust.

TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman, in the statement, said the EC's failure to put a stop to attacks and harassment -- through filing cases and intimidation -- on the opposition party leaders and activists as well as its indifference in this regard has turned into a matter of concern.

“The opposition parties are not only being oppressed by the ruling party [Awami League] men, they are also facing discriminatory behaviour from law enforcement agencies,” he said, citing news reports.

The TIB chief also alleged that the EC is responsible for the law enforcement agencies' failure to play a neutral role ahead of the election.

“Apart from making some empty promises, the Election Commission is yet to set an example of creating a level playing field, which is very embarrassing,” he said in the statement.

Criticising the EC's decision to limit live broadcast from inside the polling centres, the anti-corruption campaigner said that live broadcast was allowed in some previous polls.

He also termed the ban on using mobile phones at the polling centres a “sign of weakness” of the EC and a self-contradictory stance.

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