Friday, 29 September, 2023

EC ensures level playing field in KCC polls: CEC

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal today said that the election commission (EC) wants to hold a free and fair election at a level playing field in the Khulna City Corporation (KCC) election through a coordinated effort from all.

“The candidates either mayor nor councilor will have to face music if anybody violates ‘code of conduct’ of the EC,” he said this while speaking at a view exchange meeting with candidates for mayoral, general ward and women reserve seats at local Shilpokola Academy here as chief guest.

“Voters will come to the polling centers easily and cast their votes for their choice full-candidates. If we get complaints that the voters are being blocked to enter into the centre, being failed to cast vote, and there are miscreants in the centre who resisted them, strict action will be taken against them, the CEC said adding that if any candidate break the code of conduct, he or she will not be spared.

Election Commissioner Brigadier General (Rtd) Md. Ahsan Habib Khan and Secretary to the Election Commission Secretariat Md. Jahangir Alam attended the meeting as special guests where Khulna Divisional Commissioner Zillur Rahman Chowdhury was in the chair.

The meeting was addressed, among others, by Deputy Commissioner of Khulna Yasir Arefin, Khulna Metropolitan Police (KMP) Commissioner Masudur Rahman Bhuiyan, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Khulna Range Moinul Haque, Superintendent of Police (SP) Khulna Mahbub Hasan.

“If the presiding officer neglects his duty, we will take strict action against him. Candidates also have to perform their duties well,” the CEC said.

He also urged the candidates to ensure the presence of polling agents. There will be a presiding officer to whom their polling agents can complain, he added.

“Gazipur city election is an example of how the presiding officers will perform their duties properly. The presiding officers performed their duties fairly.

“The polling agents and candidates will have to act equally inside the polling centres. If the candidates show power, democracy will be destroyed. If elected, there will be no support from the people. So, the message from me is that you will try to develop democracy in a healthy and fair way,” the CEC said.

He also announced that close circuit cameras will be installed at all the polling stations in Khulna like Gazipur.

In the meeting, the CEC listened to various complaints of the candidates and took on board all possible solutions and suggestions.