Civil society platform Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan) today slammed the Election Commission and claimed that the union parishad polls were “perverted”.
“The business of selling nomination has reached the grass roots,” Badiul Alam Majumdar, secretary of Shujon, told a press briefing. “The union parishad polls were perverted”.
“People are losing their trust on the electoral system, and as consequence the democratic culture is also on the verge of destruction,” he told journalists at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU).
Union parishad polls have begun in Bangladesh, the first phase of which was held through 752 union parishads on March 22. This was the first time such grass roots elections were held in party banners.
At least 12 people died so far in election violence. Election Commission said it was satisfied with the voting that had a turnout of over 70 percent. In majority places, candidates backed by ruling Awami League emerged victorious.
A significant level of violence and irregularities were observed in the elections. The Election Commission must shoulder this responsibility, the Shujan secretary said in the press briefing.
Reading out a written statement, Dilip Kumar Sarkar, an official at Shujan, claimed that the elections to the 752 union parishads held “cannot be termed fair under international standards”.
A fearful situation is prevailing following the violence in the elections, he said. This partisan local government elections will expand the scope for criminalised politics in the rural areas, he added.
Shujan, an organisation monitoring good governance and the establishment of democracy, organised the briefing titled ‘The first phase of union parishad polls: Highlights and learning’.