Monday, January 21, 2019

Fakhrul wants reforms to Election Commission as it ‘failed’ to conduct fair polls in KCC

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2018-05-16 12:50:06 BdST


BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has suggested reforms to the Election Commission or EC, claiming it ‘failed’ to conduct the Khulna City Corporation polls properly.

He was speaking in a press conference on Tuesday night following the BNP candidate’s defeat.

“The Khulna election would have been better if the army had been deployed,” he said.

“It is not the question of winning or losing the election, but one cannot force out the agents of opposition party; this can never happen in a fair election.”

Fakhrul termed the election system in the country a ‘farce’.

“The EC loses its eligibility to work neutrally and no successful election can be held unless the EC undergoes radical changes.”

The BNP has been raising questions regarding the election system though it won several local level elections after boycotting the 10th national election.

As the BNP had won the last election in Khulna, it expected victory this time too. BNP’s mayoral candidate Nazrul Islam Manju happens to be the central organising secretary and a former MP.

“We have a stronghold in Khulna and last time our contender had won the election with a huge margin. Nazrul Islam Manju has been elected repeatedly from that seat,” said Fakhrul.

“It is only because of EC’s failure and attacks by the police that BNP activists could not act.”

Manju accused police of arresting leaders and activists from the very beginning of the election to intimidate the BNP, which was reiterated by his party during the polling day.

“I heard they have shown 60 percent of the votes cast in Khulna but there was no presence of voters in any of the centres in the afternoon,” he said.

“It seems from the media footage that it is being controlled by the government, as it differs from what I have heard from the media in Khulna and also from the online information.”

In response to the allegations made by Fakhrul, the EC said BNP’s allegation is not clear.

It stated that KCC polls have been done under festivity, apart from few stray incidents that stalled the voting in three polling stations.

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader dismissed BNP’s allegation terming it ‘funny.’

Fakhrul, on the other hand, said KCC polls made it evident that no proper election is possible to be held without a neutral government.