Please select your preferences to subscribe.

Kamal rejects ‘farcical’ election, demands fresh polls under neutral govt

  • Staff Correspondent
    Published: 2018-12-30 20:19:26 BdST

Jatiya Oikya Front chief Dr Kamal Hossain has demanded fresh elections under a neutral government.

Voting was held for the 11th national election on Sunday. 

“We have gotten similar reports of voter fraud from almost all centres,” he told reporters during a briefing at Dhaka on Sunday evening.  

“We ask that you cancel this election right away,” said Kamal, seated next to BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

“We reject the results and demand a new election under a neutral government.” 

Addressing voters, he said, “We hope your thoughts are reflected in what we have just said.”

Elections were held for 299 parliamentary seats across the country from 8am to 4pm on Sunday.

At least 31 candidates running independently or as the candidate from the BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami or Jatiya Oikya Front have announced that they are boycotting the polls.

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has been in jail since February after being sentenced to prison on graft charges.

Her party then joined the Jatiya Oikya Front alliance with the Gono Forum, Nagorik Oikya, JSD and the Krishak Sramik Janat League under the leadership of Gono Forum President Kamal Hossain.

The ruling Awami League claims the elections were free, fair and impartial.

Election observers from India visited several polling centres in Dhaka and said that voting was conducted in a ‘peaceful and calm’ manner and in a festive mood. An election observer from Canada also said on Sunday morning that voting seemed to be unhindered.

Asked what steps he would take if his demands were not met, Kamal Hossain said: “We will sit tomorrow and discuss what to do in detail. We will continue our movement to institute democracy. We will provide further details at a later time.”

Asked what he would do if the Oikya Front won the polls, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said: “We are boycotting the entire election. This is not an election. This is a cruel mockery of democracy.”

“We will inform you of our decision tomorrow,” he added.

“Many people believe we were wrong to boycott the polls on Jan 5, 2014,” he said. “But today proves us right.”