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NCC polls could be a model in future: observers

WT24 Desk

Independent elections monitors and experts today termed Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) polls could appear as a model for future elections appreciating efforts of all stakeholders in ensuring its fairness and credibility, Agencies report.  They said expected the NCC polls to have a very positive impact in staging future elections to strengthen the electoral process and democracy.

“Narayanganj City Corporation has set an example of free, fair, peaceful and credible elections . . . No such polls were held in recent time in Bangladesh,” Pro Vice Chancellor of University of Professionals and Chairman of National Election Observation Council (JANIPOP) Professor Dr Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah told BSS.

He added: “It’s (NCC polls) is the best one I have seen so far.” BROTEE, another independent election observer, said the NCC polls proved that a concerted effort of the Election Commission (EC), the government, political parties and candidates could ensure “a quality election”.

“The (NCC) election was free, fair and peaceful,” said the watchdog in a statement saying it interviewed 620 polling officers and 240 voters and visited many polling centres in preparing a report on the polls.  BROTEE lauded the role of the government, law enforcement agencies and political parties in holding the election peacefully.

“The NCC election was held in a peaceful atmosphere,” Democracy Watch, an independent election monitoring agency, said in a statement saying a team of theirs visited several voting centers in different areas of Narayanganj, including 10 risky ones.

The polls watchdog said it found the law and order to be good at all the centers with police, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Boarder Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personnel and magistrates performing their duties in a coordinated way.  “The law enforcement agencies and election commission the officials sincerely worked together for holding a free and fair election,” Bangladesh Manabadhikar Bastabayan Sangstha (BSEHR) said.

The rights group said their observers visited different polling centres in Narayanganj and came up with the observation that no untoward incident took place during the voting.  It said successful holding of a free and fair election added a new dimension to ensuring people’s voting rights.

Director of Election Working Group Abdul Halim told BSS that the NCC election was a good one in the history of the country’s voting practices. “The overall environment of the NCC polls was like the general election as central leaders of Awami League and BNP were directly in the field, but no negative impact was seen there,” he observed.

Undoubtedly the country witnessed a fair and credible election yesterday, he added.  Besides the independent observers, many voters also expressed their great satisfaction over the free and fair NCC polls.

While talking to media, additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaisarul Islam of Dhaka, who led a six-member team to the NCC polls, termed the polls as a model election and said that his team did not receive any complaint during voting.

Some 9500 personnel drawn from police, RAB and BGB were deployed in the electoral area to maintain law and order while nine high officials of the commission were sent there to oversee the polls.  As many as 1462 election observers and media people closely monitored the election.

Awami League-backed candidate Selina Hayat Ivy was reelected as Mayor of Narayanganj beating BNP nominee Sakhawat Hossain Khan with a huge margin in the polls.

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