Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today thanked the Election Commission and said the commission has conducted a fantastic, fair and peaceful election despite keeping excessive surveillance on the Awami League candidates and supporters in the Cumilla City Corporation (CuCC) polls.
"I would like to congratulate the people of Cumilla as the Awami League candidate has won the mayoral post after a long time. I also extended my thanks to the leaders and activists linked with the polls and the Election Commission for holding a fair and fantastic election," he told reporters.
The minister was talking to reporters after unwrapping the cover of 'BSRF Barta', an annual publication of Bangladesh Secretariat Reporters Forum (BSRF), in the meeting room of his ministry at the Secretariat in the capital.
Hasan said all the candidates of the polls have claimed that the election was participatory and it held in a transparent manner and in an enthusiastic environment.
But the EC had monitored the AL candidates and supporters more strictly than other parties in the polls, said Hasan, also AL joint general secretary.
The minister also extended thanks to the defeated mayoral candidate and said he has lost by a small margin. "In fact, it is difficult to accept losing for a few votes. For this, he talked about going to court. On the other hand, we hoped that we would win by more votes," he added.
Replying to a query over BNP's secretary general's comments, he said all the candidates including Sakku are claiming that the polls were held peacefully. As a result, it becomes unimportant whatever Mirza Fakhrul says from Thakurgaon, he added.
Earlier in the function, Hasan congratulated the BSRF members for publishing the 'BSRF Barta'.
He hoped that the BSRF would remain united and play a pivotal role in presenting the activities of the government through their write-ups.
BSRF president Tapan Biswas, general secretary Masudul Haque and vice-president Motahar Hossain, among others, addressed the function.
Earlier, the representatives of Democracy International (DI) met with Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud at his office
DI Bangladesh chapter chief of party Dana Olds, senior directors Abdul Alim and Aminul Islam were present in the meeting.