Delegates from India, Nepal, SAARC and the OIC (Islamic Organization for Cooperation) have endorsed the 11th general election of Bangladesh, which many in opposition party described as rigged. The delegations had earlier visited a number of polling centres in Dhaka and areas adjacent to the city during the voting.
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After visiting several centres, including some at Wari, Munshiganj and Narayanganj, they talked with journalists in the afternoon at Sonargaon hotel in Dhaka.
Head of the three-member Indian delegation and Chief Election Officer of West Bengal Ariz Aftab said they visited several centres and found that the voting took place in a proper manner and festive mood, reports the Bangla Tribune.
He said they were in contact with the Election Commission and that was why they came here to observe the polls. Sharing a similar view, OIC delegation’s head Ambassador Hameed A Opeloyeru said the election took place spontaneously and peacefully.
When asked about polls-related violence and deaths, he said it was not desirable but the incidents could be termed as “accidents.” At least 18 people were killed during clashes and violent incidents through the polls, held between 8am and 4pm in 299 constituencies on Sunday.
Opeloyeru said they saw polling agents of Awami League, BNP and Communist Party of Bangladesh at the centres they visited.
About the credibility, he said election officers had done their jobs to ensure that voters exercised their voting rights. As the international standard was fulfilled, it could be said that the election was credible, he added.
Later in the evening, head of the Nepal delegation Dipendra Kandal told reporters that they visited several centres in Dhaka 6 and 13 constituencies as they were interested seeing the electronic voting machine (EVM) system in action.
He said Bangladesh introduced the EVMs on a pilot basis and they found that the election environment was peaceful. Meanwhile, in the morning, Saarc delegation member Tania Foster told reporters that they visited five centres and saw that everyone was getting access to polling centres to able to cast their votes. All officers were doing their jobs greatly to ensure the people’s voice is heard, she added.