Leaders of political parties yesterday said the maiden election to Narayanganj City Corporation was largely peaceful, fair and free. However, their opinions go different ways from there on with ruling alliance leaders praising the voters for exercising their franchise and opposition leaders bashing the government for “compelling” them to pull out of the race.
Parties of the ruling alliance claimed that the election has once again proved that a free, fair and peaceful election can be held when an elected government is in power, if all necessary arrangements are ensured and voters are enthusiastic. Opposition BNP leaders, however, claim that the government made it impossible for them to stay in the race and they have rejected the election.
Their ally Jamaat-e-Islami refused to even make any comment. Jamaat Assistant Publication Secretary Matiur Rahman Akand only said that they have nothing to say since the opposition alliance has pulled out its mayoral candidate.
Even before the results of all polling centres were out, BNP Vice-Chairman Abdullah Al Noman yesterday evening said people of Narayanganj have rejected the candidate chosen by the prime minister as well as the government. Moreover, the Election Commission has failed to obtain the opposition’s faith.
BNP standing committee member MK Anwar said the party had no option but to ask the candidate of its choice to pull out. “Whoever wins the polls–be it Ivy or Osman–makes no difference for us. By disobliging the Election Commission in deploying the army, the government did a disservice to the future of democracy in Bangladesh,” he told The Daily Star last night.
He said the Awami League-led government has been saying that they want a stronger Election Commission. “But by not obliging to the Election Commission’s requirement of army deployment in the Narayanganj polls, the government further eroded public confidence on the Election Commission in holding fair polls in the future.”
Full Article: Free, fair, quiet.