No Army deployment in NCC polls: CEC

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Dhaka, December 10: Though 24 hours were over, but the Election Commission (EC) did not have any information whether Narayanganj Awami League lawmaker Shamim Osman violated the electoral code of conduct by holding a press conference to seek vote for ruling party mayoral candidate Selina Hayat Ivy.

The EC also thought that there will be no needed to deploy Army in NCC mayoral election.

“I have just heard it about yesterday’s matter. We will get report and we will see it. But returning officer in Narayanganj City Corporation polls will know the matter first before we get the information. Besides there are 27 magistrates deployed there. They might have taken action in the meantime. We will also ask about it,” Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad said on Saturday.

The CEC said this while addressing the journalists after hailing from a meeting with the top officials of home ministry, law enforcement and intelligent agencies to discuss law an order situation ahead of the elections to Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) and district council polls across the country.

Citing the electoral code of conduct, the EC boss said, “It has been clearly said who is barred and who is allowed in the election. If the law dose not cover, he (Selim Osman) has no scope to seek votes for candidate.”

Narayanganj ruling party lawmaker AKM Shamim Osman on Friday held a press conference at Nasim Osman Memorial Park in Naryanganj where he said that the party activists as well as his supporters would visit door to door seeking vote for Ivy.

But as per the electoral code of conduct, an incumbent lawmaker cannot seek votes for any candidate in the election area.

“Earlier you have seen that we have warned, issued notice or filed case against the lawmakers for violating electoral code of conduct. None will be spared. None is above law. We would request to abide by the electoral code of conduct and co-operate us for holding a fair election,” the CEC said.

In reply to another question of army deployment in the NCC polls, Kazi Rakibuddin said, “There is no necessity of deploying army till today. The situation is normal than average. Besides, we would oversee the situation minutely and none will be spared.”

Asked what steps would be taken before the night of election to resist ballot box stuffing, he said, “We have given clear instruction that any sort of influence in the centre would not be tolerated. Police force would be increased. Besides, there will be patrolling force will would take immediate response. Whatever the number of the miscreants may be but none will be allowed to enter into the polling centres.”

He also said that EC has taken steps to keep the centres protected not only at night but also by day during elections.

About the meeting decision, CEC said that the law enforcers have assured them that the law and order situation is better and hope that it would improve in NCC and district council polls.

“We have instructed the enforcers to take action against terrorists, miscreants and outsiders who create problems to arrest them, to recover illegal arms. They have assured them they have started it since the beginning and it would continue. We have told them to make this matter more visible,” he said.

We have already deployed 27 executive magistrates in the NCC polls to maintain law and order situation and they are informing the entire matter to the commission.

About the district council polls, he said, “It is a small scale polls. The voters are limited. But this poll is new to us. For the first time it is going to be held. We have given instruction to all to hold the polls carefully. They would take steps considering the local law and order situation and inform us and if necessary additional steps would take following our instruction.”