March 30, 2023, 8:22 am

Akhi Malek

2019-02-06 20:32:27 BdST

Upazila polls: CEC warns against irregularities

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda has warned that no irregularities will be allowed during the upcoming Upazila Parishad polls, and the election will be postponed if necessary. 

He was addressing the inaugural training of returning, and assistant returning, officers of the upcoming Upazila Parishad elections, at ETI Building in Agargaon, on Wednesday.

Speaking at the inauguration, Nurul Huda said: “If any returning officer feels the atmosphere is not congenial in his upazila, he or she will recommend postponing the polls. Our [the Election Commission’s] position in this regard will be firm.

“If the polls-time situation spirals out of control due to an untoward incident, we will postpone the entire Upazila Parishad election. There will be no compromise for irregularities. People will vote to elect their favoured candidate.”

He added that the Election Commission has a duty not to discriminate against any candidate based on their party affiliation, religion, or skin tone.

Directing the election officials, Nurul Huda said: “Inspire candidates to send agents to polling centres, and ensure their safety. However, the commission cannot take responsibility for polling agents’ transportation and lodging.

“Sometimes, there are allegations that polling agents are not being allowed inside voting centres. Most of these allegations are not true.”

The chief election commissioner furthered: “There have been complaints that voters were prevented from going to polling centres. The election officials must properly instruct law enforcement to ensure a voter presence during the upcoming election. 

“If there are reports that voters are being intimidated, officials will instruct law enforcement to be extra vigilant. Voters must be allowed to exercise their voting rights without obstruction.”

Nurul Huda also directed election officials to be vigilant against incidents of electoral violence before and during voting day.

The event was presided over by Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed, and attended by four election commissioners.

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