New US visa policy an intergovernmental issue: EC Alamgir

Election commission secretary Md Alamgir

Election commissioner Md Alamgir has said the new visa policy of the United States is an intergovernmental issue and the election commission (EC) will not comment on it.

While speaking to reporters at his office on Thursday, the commissioner also said the EC is tasked with holding a fair election and it will take whatever measures necessary to perform its duty.

The new US visa policy aims to ensure a free, fair, and peaceful election in Bangladesh, as declared by US secretary of state Antony Blinken. It allowed the US authorities to deny visas to individuals believed to have impeded democratic election processes in Bangladesh.

Alamgir said the commission’s job is not about who obstructs the electoral process. He suggested that the concerned authorities can say better what discussions they had with a state or government.

Good election in Gazipur

The commissioner monitored the voting process through closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) installed at the polling booths. He said a good environment prevailed there and voting was underway with discipline.

"In the first two and a half hours of voting, according to reports from law enforcement forces and the commission's observers, we are witnessing a good election," he added.

Regarding technical glitches with CCTV cameras and electronic voting machines (EVMs), he explained that the issues were resolved within five to ten minutes. Due to a lack of internet connection, they were unable to monitor some polling booths. However, the voting was being recorded on cameras.