Chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Wednesday rejected a study conducted by Transparency International Bangladesh that found the 11th parliamentary elections to be partially participatory, non-competitive, questionable and faulty.
Addressing the closing ceremony of a training programme for newly appointed employees at Electoral Training Institute in Dhaka, he said that the transparency watchdog’s remarks about the Election Commission were indecent.
He claimed that they found no evidence of such electoral fraud in media reports and in the findings of electoral enquiry committees and judicial and executive magistrates.
‘The findings of TIB are completely baseless and we are rejecting it,’ he said.
On Tuesday, the transparency watchdog released it study report on the December 30 general election at a press conference at its office in Dhaka.
According to the report, all candidates were not allowed to conduct electioneering freely while voters faced obstacle in casting vote.
The Election Commission failed to act neutrally and the role of a section of a polling officers and law enforcers were biased, said TI executive director Iftekharuzzaman, adding that the faulty election would hamper the democracy.
He said that the election result was extraordinary and the commission’s role was controversial.
According to the findings, irregularities including ballot box stuffing, violation of electoral code of conduct and violence took place in 47 of the 50 constituencies it monitored.
In the 50 constituencies, TIB found the administration and law enforcers playing biased role in 42 constituencies, incidents of fake voting in 41 constituencies, ballot box stuffing in the night before the polls in 33 constituencies and capture of polling stations in 30 constituencies.
It found that polling agents and voters were intimidated in 26 constituencies, voters were forced to cast votes for a particular party in 22 constituencies, voters were asked to leave polling stations in 21 constituencies, ballot boxes were found full at the beginning of the polling in 20 constituencies and opposition activists were tortured in 11 constituencies.
The TIB recommended judicial inquiry into the incidents and enactment of a law on appointment of the chief and other election commissioners.
Source: New Age.