Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda yesterday said the commission would not compromise with any irregularities in the upcoming Upazila Parishad election and if needed, it would stop voting.
He made the comment while briefing the election's returning and assistant returning officers in the capital's Nirbachon Bhaban.
The CEC also asked all concerned to take necessary steps to control violence before and after the polls.
The first phase of the five-phase election will be held on March 10.
Nurul Huda said, “If any returning officer considers that there is no congenial environment for voting, the officer can recommend stopping it. The commission will stop the voting.”
“If any candidates and parties create any situation that breaches the electoral law and the situation goes beyond control of returning officer, voting might be stopped there. There will be no compromise with any irregularities in the election.”
The CEC asked the returning and assistant returning officers to urge law enforcers to remain alert so that voters could come to polling stations and cast ballots for candidates of their choice without any hurdle.
Many alleged that voters cannot cast their votes freely and they are intimidated at some places, he added.
“Let people vote for candidates of their choice,” he told the election officials.
Although it is the responsibilities for candidates to appoint polling agents, the election officials should inspire them to do so. The officials should also take necessary steps so that polling agents can stay in the polling centres without any fear, the CEC said.
Election commissioners Mahbub Talukdar, Rafiqul Islam, Kabita Khanam and Brig Gen (retd) Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury were present at the briefing, presided over by Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed.
On February 3, the commission announced that the first phase of upazila election would be held on March 10.
This time, the election will be held in five phases.
The last date for submitting nomination papers is February 11, while that of withdrawal is February 19.
The scrutiny of the papers will be held on February 12.
Election to 87 upazila parishads in 12 districts under Rangpur, Mymensingh, Sylhet and Rajshahi divisions will be held in the first phase.
For the first time, political parties will nominate aspirants in the upazila election.
The second phase of the election is slated for March 18, the third for March 24, the fourth for March 31 and the fifth for June 18.
The first upazila polls were held in 1985, while the following three were held in 1990, 2009 and 2014.