Polls were free, fair and participatory: EMF


DHAKA, Dec 31, 2018 (BSS) – The Election Monitoring Forum (EMF) and a team of foreign election observers today said the 11th parliamentary polls were held in a free, fair and credible manner as the people spontaneously exercised their right to franchise to choose their leaders in a disciplined way.

This election took place in a freer, fairer and more credible manner than those in the past, Prof Maulana Mohammad Abed Ali All, the executive director and secretary general of SAARC Human Rights Foundation, said at a press conference at National Press Club here.

“The nation got a fair, free and interference-free election with the participation of all political parties,” he added.

He said the common people’s attachment to the polls process drew attention in the global arena while members of the law enforcement agencies were seen performing their normal duties in all polling centers they visited as election observers on the polls day.

The law and order was almost normal and peaceful at the voting centres, he said.

The secretary general of SAARC Human Rights Foundation, however, expressed profound shock and sorrow at the losses of lives and untoward incidents.

He also urged the Election Commission to bring all the accused involved in the incidents under justice as “the election commission cannot ignore its responsibilities of the incidents.”

Speaking on the occasion, Human Rights activist Tania Foster, an observer from Canada said, “The Election Commission of Bangladesh has done a good job for ensuring democratic process.”

She said everybody got access to their polling stations in presence of security personnel to cast their ballots.

The polls were held free and fair in a peaceful manner.

Former Nepalese Minister and Nepal Communist Party leader, who was also on the election monitoring team, said the polls were held peacefully in a democratic and fair manner.

Polls observer Advocate Mohamamdin Ali, senior lawyer of Nepal Supreme Court, said, “We were very happy to see the environment of yesterday’s polls in Bangladesh.”

He said they did not find any disturbances in the polling stations and it has created an example across the globe.

Among others, Nepal Communist Leader and former parliament member Najir Mia, former president of Kolkata Press Club Journalist Komol Bhattacharyya, Advocate Dr Goutam Ghosh of Kolkata, Sri Lankan human rights activists researcher Mohammad Ehsan Iqbal, director of SARRC Human Rights Foundation Dr Masum Chowdhury were present at the press conference.

Earlier, Assistant Secretary General (Economic Affairs) of the Organization of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) Amb. Hameed A. Opeloyeru last evening said the polls met world standards and “the atmosphere was very peaceful.”

He added that they visited many polling centers in Dhaka, Munshiganj and Narayanganj where they saw agents of all major political parties in the booths and spontaneous participation of voters in a peaceful atmosphere.