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BNP demands cancellation of ‘engineered’ election results, fresh polls

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2018-12-31 21:39:05 BdST


The BNP has demanded that fresh polls be held immediately alleging that the 11th parliamentary elections have been engineered.

It has planned to “start a legal battle along with continuing protests” to have the demand met, but has not cleared yet how.   

At a media conference after a meeting of their policymaking National Standing Committee on Monday evening, Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said they will reveal their plan “when the time comes”.

He alleged the results of Sunday’s elections, according to which the ruling Awami League is going to form the government for the third consecutive term, had been “fixed beforehand”.

“We will decide after gathering all the data. We will set out future plan after discussions with our allies,” Mirza Fakhrul said.

“Of course we will organise (protest) programmes,” he said on being asked and added that they were mulling legal options as well.   

Asked if the five BNP candidates, who won the election to the 300-seat parliament, will still take oath after rejection of the results, he did not give a clear reply: “We have rejected the results.”   

“This election was engineered in the night before voting. The people have been robbed of their right to vote, which they did not enjoy in past 10 years as well.

“New voters have been deprived mostly. There were no voters in all the polling stations in Dhaka,” he said.

The BNP leader also said the election proved polls cannot be fair with a political party in power and reiterated that their decision to boycott the last general election in 2014 was “correct”.   

“But we joined the election (this time) because we believe in change of government through polls. We contested in the election to restore democracy,” he remarked.

The Jatiya Oikya Front alliance of the BNP has already called for fresh elections but Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda earlier on Monday rejected it.

Mirza Fakhrul criticised Huda for his comment that the EC “has nothing to do if the BNP fails to send its polling agents to the stations”.

“The government used the state machinery in collusion with the Election Commission to obstruct our agents. We assigned agents at all the stations in my constituency but they were forced out,” he said.

The BNP secretary general also alleged homes of candidates, leaders and activists of the BNP and its allies are coming under attack after the election.

He demanded release of the BNP leaders and activists, who are 21,000 in number, according to Fakhrul.