Dhaka City polls fair, peaceful but not competitive: Quader

Dhaka, Feb 28 – The ruling Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Thursday claimed that the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) by-elections were held in a free, fair and peaceful manner but the polls were not competitive.
“DNCC by-election was peaceful but uncompetitive as the major political party BNP didn’t field any candidate to contest the polls,” he said this while talking to the media in Narayanganj yesterday.
Meanwhile, addressing a press conference at the party president’s Dhanmondi political office, AL joint general secretary and Education Minister Dipu Moni said the DNCC mayoral elections were held in a free
fair and credible manner.
“No untoward incident was reported so far,” she said. She also extended thanks to all stakeholders of the polls including journalists for helping to hold the elections in a peaceful manner.
She also claimed that voters turn out in the polls might be 50 percent though the weather was not well during the voting hour.
About the DNCC by-elections, AL presidium member Mohammad Nasim said BNP has been hatching a conspiracy to kill the country’s democracy by boycotting elections repeatedly.
Speaking at a discussion in the city Nasim, the former health minister said yesterday that voters’ presence in the DNCC by-polls were low as BNP did not field any candidate to run the race.
“BNP is a big political party. it is very natural that voters presence will be low if a big political party doesn’t take part in an election,” he said adding that another reason for the low presence of voters in the yesterday’s elections is bad weather.
Addressing the programme, Bangladesh Workers Party president Rashed Khan Menon blamed BNP for the low presence of voters in the yesterday’s DNCC by-elections.
Besides, AL nominated business icon Atiqul Islam to contest the mayoral by-elections. AL’s arch rival BNP had earlier decided to boycott the DNCC by-polls saying that they would not take part in any election under the supervision of the present Election Commission (EC) and the current Sheikh Hasina government.
In the previous DNCC elections, BNP had nominated its leader Tabith Awal who had boycotted the polls halfway through the voting, alleging widespread vote rigging. Consequently, AL nominated candidate Annisul Huq was elected mayor on April 28, 2015. – Staff Reporter