Voting to be suspended immediately if found rigged: CEC

The Election Commission (EC) will suspend voting at any polling centre immediately if it receives a single allegation of electoral scam or rigging during the 12th parliamentary election on January 7, said Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Hahibul Awal.

“The Election Commission will immediately suspend voting at any polling centre if it get any single allegation of electoral scam,” said the CEC while addressing a view exchange meeting with election candidates at the Returning Officer’s office in Barishal on Saturday.

He sought cooperation from the candidates to make the election free and fair.

“… maintain peaceful atmosphere to allow voters to vote freely. If anyone of you (candidates) creates any disturbance at any centre … if there is a single case of vote rigging, I will suspend voting in that centre immediately” he added.

A total of 35 candidates are contesting in the election for 6 parliamentary seats of Barisal district. He also urged candidates to strictly follow the electoral code of conduct to ensure free and fair election.

“Follow electoral code strictly . . . help the EC. You must come out of the mentality that power-play is a must to win elections,” he added.

As the EC wants to ensure a free, fair and neutral election, it will not spare anyone if they try to spoil it, the CEC said.

Barishal Divisional Commissioner Shawkat Ali presided over the meeting while Election Commission Secretary Mohammad Jahangir Alam, Barishal Range Deputy Inspector General Jamil Hasan, Police Commissioner Jihadul Kabir, returning officer and Deputy Commissioner Shahidul Islam were present there.

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