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Barisal city polls: Alleged irregularities proven at 17 polling centres

  • Published at 09:21 am October 3rd, 2018
File photo: A citizen casts his vote inside a booth at a polling centre in Barisal during the city polls Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Election to the Barisal City Corporation was held at 123 polling centres across the city on July 30

A committee formed by the Election Commission has found evidence of irregularities, including vote rigging, at 17 polling centres during the Barisal City Corporation election.

The team submitted its report to the commission recently.

Election to the Barisal City Corporation was held at 123 polling centres across the city on July 30.

But allegations of different irregularities were raised during the polls which included fake votes, vote rigging, occupying the centres, hijacking of ballot papers and driving out polling agents, according to commission sources.

Based on the allegations, a number of mayoral candidates, including BNP's Mujibur Rahman Sarwar, Islami Andolan’s Obaydur Rahman, Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal’s Manisha Chakrabarti, and Communist Party of Bangladesh’s Abul Kalam Azad, boycotted the election that day.

Later, the Election Commission formed a committee to investigate the irregularities that allegedly took place during the voting at 56 polling centres.

The investigating team submitted its report after taking the testimonies of the presiding officers, assistant presiding officers and polling officers of these centres and found evidence of irregularities at 17 of them, said the commission’s Joint Secretary, Khandokar Mizanur Rahman, who led the investigation team.

The committee, however, found no proof of irregularities at the remaining 41 centres, he said.

Mizanur also said many of the field officials denied the allegations.

He added that they also did not find any evidence of irregularities at seven of the 16 polling centres where voting was suspended by the commission.

Mojibur Rahman, who was the returning officer during the election, also echoed his remarks.

The Election Commission’s Additional Secretary, Mokhlesur Rahman, said officials of the centres where irregularities took place would face departmental action as the allegations had been proved.

“The commission’s decision will be final in this regard,” he added.

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