Polls world standard: foreign observers say

A team of foreign and local election observers today said the 11th Jatiya Sangsad polls was held almost in a free, fair and peaceful manner maintaining the world standard.

“The polls was world standard . . . The atmosphere was very peaceful,” Assistant Secretary General (Economic Affairs) of the Organization of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) Amb. Hameed A. Opeloyeru told journalists at a city hotel after monitoring the overall polls situation in Bangladesh.

He said as a member of election observers he along with their team members 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 amid a peaceful atmosphere.

Replying to a query of journalists about holding a credible election, the OIC observer expressed his satisfaction saying, “We are very happy” to see the general atmosphere in Bangladesh parliamentary polls.”

Earlier, Tania Foster, an observer from Canada said, “Everybody is getting access to their polling stations and able to cast their ballots. All of the poll officials are doing a great job maintaining order.”

While talking to journalists at Viqarunnisa Noon School and College polling centre, she said the polls took place smoothly and peacefully and everyone was getting access to polling stations.

Tania Foster said she visited five centres so far and a number of polling booths.

“Everything that I have observed to this point has demonstrated that the voters are feeling empowered and enthusiastic about being able to come and vote,” she added.

Observer Dr Gautom Ghosh of India said, “Voting going on very spontaneously. There is complete peace and I feel everything is good till now.”

Nepalese observer Dipendra Kandel also said the election was held in an peaceful atmosphere with the spontaneous participation of people.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Awami League, in its post election briefing at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon, claimed that the election was held almost peacefully excepting some stray incidents.