The recently-held Chattogram City Corporation election set an example of irregularities in polls, and if such practices continue, Bangladesh will lose respect as a democracy overseas, said Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar on Thursday.
The election was blemished by violence, grabbing of control over polling centres and vandalism of electronic voting machines and police cars, he said at a press briefing at the Election Commission.
"I am disappointed by the anarchy in the polls."
To stop such violence from happening in future, Mahbub said, "We have to find a way to hold fair elections."
Without changing the electoral mechanism, it will not be possible, he added.
The voter turnout was only 22%, Mahbub said. "Such a low casting of votes cannot uphold democracy. It reflects people's distrust in election, which is alarming for a democracy."
The voter turnout would have been higher had the election been free, fair, lawful and acceptable, the election commissioner said.
"It is not justifiable that we could not hold an acceptable election after 50 years of independence," he said.
The ruling party-backed candidate Md Rezaul Karim Chowdhury won the mayoral election with 3,69,248 votes of 4,36,543 votes cast.
His nearest rival was BNP-backed Shahadat Hossain who got 52,489 votes.
Voting postponed in two centres due to violence.