Civil society platform Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan) yesterday at a meeting said that Gazipur and Khulna City Corporation polls were “controlled”.
Shujan also stressed the need for raising voices to put pressure on the Election Commission for holding free, fair and impartial elections in Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet city corporations.
“Controlled election gives birth to controlled democracy which is no democracy at all,” Badiul Alam Majumdar, Shujan Secretary, said at the meeting.
Shujan organised the programme, titled “Citizens' thoughts: upcoming city corporation election” at a hotel in Sylhet, a Shujan release said.
In his speech, the Shujan secretary said elections at the Narayanganj, Comilla and Rangpur city corporations were held in a free and fair manner under the present Election Commission.
People's confidence that the Election Commission had gained following the Rangpur and Comilla city corporation elections is missing in the KCC and GCC elections, he also said.
Awami League candidates won in both Khulna and Gazipur city corporation elections -- marred by irregularities such as heavy showdown by the ruling party in and around polling stations, ballot box stuffing and driving out polling agents of rival groups.
KCC polls was held on May 15 while GCC polls was held on June 26.
Although there was no incident of major violence during the voting, the polls lacked festivity because of an intimidating atmosphere created by the AL men.
Law enforcers were present in large numbers, but they mostly played the role of silent observers, as AL men in some stations violated election rules at will.
The United States voiced concern over reports of irregularities during the city corporation elections in Gazipur and Khulna.
After the KCC polls, Shujan said KCC elections were marked by “peaceful rigging” and there is no scope to term it free, fair and flawless.