Monday, August 26, 2019

Up to 60% ballot boxes were stuffed before vote, BNP, allies tell EC

  • Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-01-03 21:03:45 BdST

The candidates of the BNP and its allies have submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission demanding the results of the Dec 30 election be scrapped.

The party alleges that the people have been “betrayed” in an election where up to 60 percent ballot boxes were stuffed on the eve of voting.

The memorandum contains allegations of rigging and other irregularities that reportedly occurred during the 11th national parliamentary elections and calls for a fresh election under a non-partisan government.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir submitted the memorandum to Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda in Dhaka on Thursday evening.

“We have presented the irregularities which started after the announcement of the election schedule and how the people have been betrayed,” Mirza Fakhrul told the media.

“On the night before the elections, Awami League activists with the aid of polling officers and law-enforcement members stuffed 30 to 60 percent of the ballot boxes.

"Government activists surrounded voting centres and nearby areas on the morning of the election and stopped voters from going to these centres,” he alleged.

The BNP leader also alleged silence of the law-enforcing officers when the voters were being threatened, polling agents attacked and presiding officers being forced to cast ballots the night before the elections.

The Election Commission had failed to assert its control on the election at all levels, remarked Mirza Fakhrul.

The CEC received the memorandum but did not say anything to address the matter, he added.

The five MPs-elect of the BNP and the two of its ally the Gono Forum in the Jatiya Oikya Front stayed away from the oath-taking ceremony in parliament on Thursday.

The BNP’s 20-Party Alliance also fielded a number of candidates but failed to secure any seat.

“We’ve rejected the results so the question of taking oath does not arise,” Mirza Fakhrul said.