June 13, 2024, 7:03 am


ANM Mohibub Uz Zaman

Published:
2023-06-13 23:45:01 BdST

Peaceful polls raise hopes for nat’l election


The Election Commission (EC) successfully and peacefully conducted the Khulna City Corporation and Barishal City Corporation elections following the earlier triumph in Gazipur City Corporation. 

These local elections are being seen as a litmus test for the EC’s ability to hold the upcoming general elections in a free and fair manner.

Election experts have praised the EC for conducting Monday’s elections peacefully, citing that it built upon the positive momentum established in the Gazipur City Corporation elections. However, they believe that the absence of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) made these elections less competitive.

Brigadier General (Retd) Muhammad Sakhawat Hussain said the absence of major political parties eased the task for the EC.

He noted, “The Election Commission has taken tight measures for the polls by deploying a large number of police, Ansar, BGB, and magistrates, along with the installation of CCTV cameras at polling centers. Consequently, the poll atmosphere has improved, with no opportunity for acts of violence.”

Hussain pointed out that the main competitor was the Islami Andolan, which eventually boycotted the polls halfway. He stressed that such a situation is unlikely to prevail in the national elections.

Mohammad Shahnewaz, a former Election Commissioner, also observed that the elections in Khulna and Barishal were conducted fairly, akin to the Gazipur City Corporation election.

However, Shahnewaz observed a flaw in the polls due to the BNP’s decision not to participate. He commented, “If the BNP had participated, it would have been a more participatory election.”

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