Friday, April 19, 2019

Sajeeb Wazed explains Awami League’s colossal victory, dismisses rigging allegations

  • News Desk,
    Published: 2019-01-12 18:24:53 BdST

Sajeeb Wazed (File photo)

Sajeeb Wazed, son of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has posted a statement on social media to challenge those who questioned the Awami League’s landslide victory in the 11th national parliamentary election.

“It is not possible to achieve such an enormous victory through deception,” he said in a Facebook post.

The ruling Awami League won an absolute majority in the Dec 30 election by an unprecedented margin. After the election debacle, the BNP lost its deposits against most of the seats.

The leaders of Oikya Front and its ally BNP have alleged that their agents were barred from entering polling stations with the aid of polling officers and law-enforcers. They also claim that ballot boxes were stuffed with sealed ballot papers before voting began.

The 'Bam Ganatantrik Jote' or Left Democratic Alliance has also demanded fresh elections, citing the same allegations.

Following the complaints, Sajeeb Wazed posted on his personal Facebook page explaining the reasons for the Awami League’s win and the defeat of the Jatiya Oikya Front on Saturday. He also criticised those who questioned the Dec 30 polls.

The BNP and Oikya Front having been “thoroughly rejected by our voters have taken to begging their foreign masters for help”, he wrote.

“They are on an international lobbying and PR blitz to try to prove that our elections were rigged. But the fact is that it is mathematically impossible.”

The Awami League's margin over the BNP is about 49 million votes, he wrote.

“It is simply not possible to manipulate elections by 49 million votes without it being caught on everyone’s mobile camera.”

“As for their claims of voter intimidation, even if every voter who did not vote for AL voted for the Oikya Front, they would still be over 22 million votes short,” he wrote over claims of voter intimidation in the national polls.

On the allegations against the voter turnout in the election, he wrote: “The first complaint is that voter turnout was too high and indicates false votes. The final voter turnout figure is 80 percent and it is not a record in Bangladesh. That distinction is held by the 2008 elections under the 2007-2008 ‘caretaker’ regime when turnout was 87 percent. The AL won that election in a landslide with 48 percent of the vote by itself. In 2001 the voter turnout was around 75.6 percent and in 1996 it was 75 percent. Turnout was just slightly higher because this is the first fully participatory election in a decade.”

Sajeeb Wazed also rubbished the claims regarding the Awami League’s share of the vote.

“The second propaganda is that the ruling party received 90 percent of the vote. This is a complete falsehood. The AL by itself received around 72 percent. Our Mohajote allies received just under 5 percent. Even the 72 percent is not a record for the AL. In the 1973 election after Independence the AL received 73.2 percent of the vote. Just as the reason then was the AL led the country to Independence, our vote increase this time has two very good reasons.”

Sajeeb Wazed stated that the reason for the unprecedented victory of the Awami League government is that they have improved the lives of people more than any other government in Bangladesh.

“We have become a middle-income country, per capita income has trebled, poverty has been halved, almost everyone has access to education, basic healthcare, electricity, and the list is endless. If there was a way to improve the lives of the Bangladeshi people, our government has done it or the progress is visible,” he wrote.