Clashes have become a part of the Union Parishad (UP) elections, said Election Commissioner (EC) Mahbub Talukder.
“In the so-called ‘Vote-battle’, there are only battles now, no voting,” he told the media at a press conference, held at the Election Commission Bhaban on Wednesday.
He also commented that instead of festivity, the UP elections are being held amid a gloomy environment.
Mahbub Talukder noted the law enforcement agencies must be more vigilant to prevent poll violence across the country.
To prevent further escalation of clashes, he emphasised that the causes behind the violence must be investigated.
“Terrorism and clashes are likely to escalate if the party nomination system is not abolished in the UP polls. We (the election commission) want terror-free elections,” he told the media.
EC Mahbub also lashed out at the parliament members for violating the election code of conduct during the ongoing UP elections.
“No action was taken against them except sending letters which were ignored by some. Strict enforcement of the law is a must here,” added Mahbub Talukder.
He further said taking strict action against them is not possible unless the electoral process is reformed.
EC Mahbub also denounced the inaction of law enforcement agencies in preventing incidents of ballot paper hijacking in some polling centres.
The fifth phase polls for 708 union parishads (UP) across the country were held Wednesday amid sporadic reports of irregularities, violence and the death of at least two people.
UP polls saw violence and casualties in the previous four phases. The second phase was the deadlist which left at least 30 people dead and dozens injured.
The current session of the local government polls will be held in seven phases, while the sixth phase is scheduled to be held on 31 January at 219 unions, and the final phase on 7 February at 138 unions.
Earlier, 836 UPs took part in elections in the fourth phase on 26 December last year, 1,000 in the third phase on 28 November, 833 in the second phase on 11 November.
The first phase of the election was held in two segments – one on 21 June and the other on 20 September – in which 369 UPs took part.