Level playing field to be ensured: EC | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 30, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:05 AM, April 30, 2018

City Corporation Elections 2018

Level playing field to be ensured: EC

BNP thinks otherwise

The Election Commission will present a free, fair and credible city corporation election, said an election commissioner yesterday.

He also said through the upcoming polls it would be proven that the EC is capable of holding free and fair elections.

Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury said this while speaking at the divisional coordination meeting of Khulna City Corporation (KCC) polls at Khulna Circuit House.

Claiming that all the elections were held in a free and fair manner during the tenure of the present EC, he said the government has not interfered in any election so far.

“It's a challenge for the Election Commission to conduct a credible election. But it's trying to do so…,” he said. He sought cooperation from all in this regard.

He said the EC would take legal actions against those who would show negligence in discharging their election duties.

The EC will take Rangpur City Corporation elections as a model to hold the polls and ensure a level-playing field for all candidates, he said.

Khulna Divisional Commissioner Lokman Hossain Mia presided over the meeting.

EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed, Khulna range DIG Didar Ahmed, Khulna Metropolitan Commissioner Humayun Kabir, BGB Sector Commander Towhidul Islam, Rab-6 Commander Khondokar Rafiqul Islam, Deputy Commissioner Amin-ul-Ahsan, Superintendent of Police Nizamul Haque Molla and chiefs of NSI, DGFI and Ansar were also present.

Meanwhile, BNP yesterday alleged that the EC is yet to create a level-playing field in Gazipur and Khulna cities for holding credible polls on May 15.

The party also demanded immediate withdrawal of Gazipur superintendent of police for ensuring a proper election atmosphere in the city.

“The Election Commission has failed to create a level-playing field… They couldn't even create a proper atmosphere for the polls,” alleged BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain at a programme in Gazipur.

Mosharraf, also the chief coordinator for BNP-backed mayoral candidate Hasan Uddin Sarker in Gazipur, said BNP has been lodging complaints with the EC about the violation of the electoral code of conduct by two ruling party candidates. But the EC is unlikely to take any action in this regard, he alleged.

He said Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq; Awami League MPs Jahangair Kabir Nanak and Bahauddin Nasim; Gazipur Zila Parishad chairman Aktaruzzaman held a meeting in Gazipur's Mouchak area on Saturday. At the meeting, they urged people to elect ruling party mayoral candidate Jahangir Alam.

“It's a clear violation of the electoral code of conduct,” he said.

Besides, the BNP leader alleged that the law enforcers are arresting leaders and activists of the 20-party alliance, repressing and intimidating them in various ways in Khulna and Gazipur.

He said around 45 leaders and activists of the alliance, including Gazipur district Jamaat ameer SM Sanaullah, were arrested while carrying out electioneering in favour of the BNP candidate.

“…We've been demanding withdrawal of the Gazipur SP for a long time… We again demand his withdrawal,” he said.

He also renewed the party's demand for army deployment in the two cities a week before the polls.

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