EC downplays polls violence | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 15, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:34 AM, December 15, 2018

EC downplays polls violence

Its secretary sees only a 'few' incidents

Amid continued pre-polls violence, Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed yesterday said only a few such incidents took place in the country.

Talking to reporters at the Nirbachan Bhaban, he said election enquiry committees didn't find the allegations raised by different candidates to be true.

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Some candidates had complained that their rivals were violating the electoral code of conduct and the ruling Awami League men were obstructing them from campaigning.

“A large number of people have got involved in electioneering for 1,846 candidates. We cannot deny the fact that some untoward incidents have occurred. But the number of such incidents was proportionately less,” said Helal.

He claimed that the percentage of such incidents was only one or two percent.

The EC has asked the law enforcers to take necessary steps to stop recurrence of such incidents, he told reporters.

His comments came at a time when pre-polls violence was reported at different places of the country in the last few days.

According to media reports, two AL and Jubo League men were killed in Noakhali and Faridpur as election violence broke out on December 11, the second day of electioneering.

The following day, at least 130 people were injured in pre-polls violence in 17 districts. A motorcade of BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also came under attack in Thakurgaon on the same day.

On Thursday, candidates in Narayanganj, Pabna and Jashore were attacked and campaigners in Sunamganj and Patuakhali were obstructed.

Asked about what measures the EC would take regarding yesterday's attack on Dr Kamal Hossain's motorcade in the capital, Helal said they were not aware of the incident and that they were yet to receive a written complaint in this regard.

He said the EC received several reports from the electoral enquiry committees over violation of electoral code and obstruction to election campaigns. Besides, some other probes were underway.

Helal said the commission's preparation for the December 30 polls was at the final stage. Ballot papers would reach the field level one week ahead of the voting day.

Asked whether journalists would be allowed to carry mobile phones to the polling centres and telecast live from inside the centres, he said the EC was yet to make any decision in this regard.

The EC secretary also said use of mobile phones inside the polling stations could create chaos on the polling day. “There is a proposal to ban use of mobile phones inside the centres, but the commission has not yet taken the final decision in this regard.”

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