Amid the growing demand by all the candidates that the Election Commission must ensure fair polls in the three city corporation elections, Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad on Monday reaffirmed that their top priority is to hold credible elections under any circumstances, reports UNB.
“I would like to firmly declare that the Election Commission has taken all the necessary steps for holding elections to Dhaka North, Dhaka South and Chittagong city corporations in a trustworthy manner and that ‘s our top priority,” he said.
The CEC was addressing a views-exchange meeting with mayoral and councillor candidates of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) at city’ s Krishibid Institution.
DSCC mayoral candidates were present at the programme and patiently listened to the CEC’s speech unlike Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) mayoral contenders who mostly left the views-exchange before hearing his speech on Sunday.
Kazi Rakibuddin sought cooperation from all the candidates in stopping the use of black money and muscle power in the elections.
Pointing at the candidates, the CEC said, “Many of you’ve raised voice against the black money and muscle power. We also want the bad culture to go. Cooperate with us informing about the incidents of the use of black money and muscle power. We’ll take actions.”
Warning the candidates who provided false information in their affidavits submitted to the Election Commission, he said, “Those who furnished their affidavits with forged particulars will not be spared… actions will surely be taken against all whenever those will come to he commission’s notice.”
The CEC directed the law enforcement agencies to ensure that no one is subjected to unnecessary harassment. “My order to the law-enforcement agencies is to create a situation so that all the voters can go to polling stations peacefully and enthusiastically, and cast votes for the candidates of their choice,” he added.
Kazi Rakibuddin urged all the mayoral and councillor candidates to help create a congenial situation so that voters can exercise their franchise without any fear.
About the demand for army deployment placed by many mayoral and councillor contestants, the CEC said a decision in this regard will be taken after a meeting with law enforcement agencies scheduled for April 19.
Four Election Commissioners—Mohammad Abdul Mobarak, Mohammad Abu Hafiz, Md Zabed Ali and Shah Nawaz, EC secretary Sirazul Islam and DMP commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia—were present at the meeting.
Returning officer of DSCC election Mihir Sarwar Morshed conducted the programme.
On March 18, the Election Commission announced the election schedules for DSCC, DNCC and Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) fixing April 28 for balloting.