Dhaka, Jan 1 (UNB) - National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque on Tuesday claimed that Sunday’s general election was held in a free, fair and neutral manner.
“All (parties) took part in the election. Voters had been able to vote for the candidates of their choice. So, the election was free, fair and neutral,” he said while addressing a press conference at the NHRC office in the city.
The NHRC chief also said no one quit the election race although there were some allegations before the election. “As a result, the election was participatory and it was held in a peaceful atmosphere.”
About the arrangement of the national election under a party government, he said the election should be held under the party government every time. “Violence marks a sharp rise and everyone can cast their vote fairly (if election is held under party govt) which never happened in the past.”
“Although the elections were being held under a caretaker government since 1991, the intensity of violence was higher in the past. But this time, we heard no violence of that dimension. So, I think the election should be held under the party government in the future,” Reazul said.
He claimed that there was no allegation of any casualty and violation of human rights during the election although they learned from media reports that 14 people were killed in election violence.
“I’ve visited a number of polling stations in Dhaka but saw no incident of human rights violation,” the NHRC chairman said, adding that he found the agents of opposition candidates in all the centres except a few.
According to UNB correspondents, at least 18 people were killed in violence on the election day across the country.
Reazul said they received a total of 52 allegations of threat and obstructing voters from going to centres before, during and after the election and informed the Election Commission which took action in this regard.
Answering a question about the ‘gang rape’ of a housewife in Noakhali for voting for an opposition candidate, he said they will investigate the incident.
The 11th Parliamentary elections were held amid huge allegations of irregularities, including vote-rigging and capturing of polling stations by ruling party men.