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EC ensures level playing field in KCC polls: CEC

Published : 30 May 2023 11:04 PM

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal on Tuesday said that the election commission (EC) wants to hold a free and fair election at a level playing field in the Khulna City Corporation (KCC) election through a coordinated effort from all.

 “The candidates either mayor  or councillor will have to face music if anybody violates ‘electoral rules  EC,” he said this while speaking at a views exchange meeting with candidates for mayoral, general ward and women reserve seats at local Shilpokola Academy in Khulna as chief guest.

“Voters will come to the polling centres easily and cast their votes for their choice  . If we get complaints that the voters are  impeded  to enter   the centres,  and  any  miscreant who resist the voters, strict action will be taken against them, the CEC said adding that if any candidate violate  the code of conduct, he or she will not be spared.

 Election Commissioner Brigadier General (Rtd) Md. Ahsan Habib Khan and Secretary to the Election Commission Secretariat Md. Jahangir Alam attended the meeting as special guests where Khulna Divisional Commissioner Zillur Rahman Chowdhury was in the chair.

 The meeting was addressed, among others, by Deputy Commissioner of Khulna Yasir Arefin, Khulna Metropolitan Police (KMP) Commissioner Masudur Rahman Bhuiyan, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Khulna Range Moinul Haque, Superintendent of Police (SP) Khulna Mahbub Hasan.

 “If the presiding officer neglects his duty, we will take strict action against him.  

 He also urged the candidates to ensure the presence of polling agents. There will be a presiding officer to whom their polling agents can complain, he added.

 “Gazipur city election is an example of how the presiding officers will perform their duties properly. The presiding officers performed their duties fairly. 

 “The polling agents and candidates will have to act equally inside the polling centres. If the candidates show power, democracy will be destroyed.   So, “the message from me is that you will try to strengthen  democracy  ” the CEC said.

 He also announced that close circuit cameras will be installed in  all   polling centres in Khulna like Gazipur.

 In the meeting, the CEC listened to various complaints of the candidates and gave instant solutions and suggestions.