Polls outcome marred by violence and code of conduct violation | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 01, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:56 AM, January 01, 2019

Polls outcome marred by violence and code of conduct violation

TIB says, demands judicial inquiry into reported incidents

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) yesterday expressed deep concern over violent incidents and complaints of electoral code of conduct violation, including use of force, during parliamentary polls across the country, saying the incidents have tainted the outcome of the polls.

In a statement, the graft watchdog demanded judicial inquiry into the incidents as well as reports of violation of the Representation of the People Order (RPO) in the capital and elsewhere.

At least 19 persons have been killed and scores injured during Sunday's polls, it said in the statement.

TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said since the beginning, they had been demanding an even contesting field for all parties.

“However, reports of harassment, politically motivated cases and oppression of a particular contesting alliance have been published in media, which is ominous for the democracy,” he said.

Allegations of such harassments continued to surface till election day. This has possibly created public distrust in the democratic system, he added.

The way the chief election commissioner tried to ignore many opposition polling agents' absence at polling centres was “embarrassing”. It makes one wonder whether Election Commission led by him could deliver its constitutional duty properly, Iftekharuzzaman said.

He said incidents of violation of the RPO, like stopping the voting process for “lunch break”, happened in the capital.

It is important to ensure fair probe into incidents like this and snatching away of ballot boxes full of ballot papers before voting started, shortage of ballot papers before voters could cast their votes, and assault on candidate at polling centre, he said.

Conducting fair probe of such incidents by the EC to determine its failure and making those public are essential, he added.

“Ensuring justice through a judicial probe of the allegations will be of immense value for the credibility, self-confidence of and public trust in a government that is being formed in the wake of an unprecedented outcome of an unprecedented election,” Iftekharuzzaman said.

Meanwhile, issuing a separate statement, rights body Ain O Salish Kendra yesterday expressed concern over violent incidents on polls day and the previous night. It called upon concerned authorities to take effective measures to stop post-polls violence.

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