Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda yesterday requested the polling agents of the mayor and ward councillor candidates not to leave the polling centres even if they were asked to do so.
He also urged the agents to stay inside the polling booths to exercise their responsibilities.
The CEC was briefing reporters after a meeting with the election commissioners at the Nirbachon Bhaban in the capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar. The meeting discussed the Election Commission’s last-minute preparations for the Dhaka city polls today.
Huda said if the polling agents faced any problems, they would take assistance from the returning officers, and assistant returning officers of their respective polling centres.
“If their [polling agents’] complaints are not addressed by the presiding officers and other polling officials concerned, they will immediately inform the returning officer about it.”
He said although there was no chance of any such incident happening, the agents could also take assistance from the magistrates and members of the law enforcement agencies, if they were forced to leave the polling booths.
The CEC said there was no chance for anyone to force any polling agent out of a polling booth.
Huda said during a recent meeting with the law enforcement agencies, he asked them to “give shelter” to the polling agents. “It is our duty to look after them [polling agents] once they enter the polling centres to carry out their responsibilities.”
Sometimes polling agents leave voting centres without informing the polling officials concerned and later claim that they were forced to leave, the CEC said.
Asked about BNP’s allegation that there was no level playing field for all candidates, Huda said the allegation was not true.
“They [BNP] carried out campaigns on the streets, went door-to-door and there was no obstacle. Where and how did you [journalists] see that there is no level playing field?”
The CEC called upon the voters to go to the polling centres and cast their votes without fear.
Replying to a question, Huda said the law enforcement agencies would take action if any voter came under attack on his way home.