BNP MPs-elect won’t take oath

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Staff Reporter:

BNP leaders elected in the 11th parliamentary polls will not take oath as they have already rejected the results, alleging various irregularities including ballot stuffing and ouster of opposition polling agents from voting centres.

The party rather demands a re-election under a non-partisan interim administration, saying it has been proved that a free and fair election is not possible under a partisan government.

The BNP took the decisions in principle at a meeting of its standing committee at the party chairperson’s Gulshan office, a day after the polls saw it win five seats while its ally Gonoforum two.

Replying to a query whether the lawmakers-elect from the BNP will take oath, party’s General Secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, “We have rejected the polls results. We will also continue our legal battle and action programmes.”

Fakhrul, who secured Bogura-6 constituency, said this election proved that a credible election is not possible under any partisan government.

“The government using state machinery conducted such a farcical election that I think it is the most stigmatised election in the country ever,” he said at a press conference after the standing committee meeting.

He also alleged that most of the new voters were denied their right to vote on Sunday.

In a press statement, Gonoforum chief Dr Kamal Hossain said all the opposition candidates, including those of Jatiya Oikyafront, will submit memorandum to the Election Commission on Thursday demanding fresh polls.

They will also announce their next course of programme on that day.

“Countrymen witnessed and perceived it well how a farcical drama was staged in the name of election on December 30,” read the statement.

“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Awami League and its loyal Election Commission have shown the world how to destroy the election system of an independent and sovereign country.”

Dr Kamal said though the polls results show the ruling Awami League is the winner, actually 17 crore people of Bangladesh have lost. “Through it our much expected democracy has been buried.”

‘MOST BIASED PERSON’

Terming Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda the most biased person, Fakhrul said, “He [Huda] is a partisan person and his activities were questioned …. his view reflects the government’s. He represents the government.”

At a post-election press conference yesterday, CEC Huda ruled out the opposition demand for a fresh election scrapping Sunday’s parliamentary polls.

Fakhrul came down heavily on the CEC also for his comment that what can he do if BNP’s agents do not come to the polling centres.

“This government using the state machinery barred our polling agents from going to polling centres. In my constituency, there were 100 percent presence of our polling agents but they were driven out.”

He said the party is now collecting all the evidence of vote rigging and then “we will move forward after talking with alliance partners”.

Alleging that “election engineering” was planned days ahead of the polls, he said its implementation began on December 29, the day before the election.

“Many now question why we participated in the election even after arrest of and attacks on the opposition leaders and activists,” Fakhrul said.

Explaining his party’s position, he said, “We want to say clearly that we are a democratic political party and believe in transfer of power through peaceful election. We participated in the election to have democracy restored.”

Alleging that ruling party activists launched attacks on the opposition men after the election, Fakhrul said, “After the election, houses of opposition leaders and activists were attacked and set on fire.”

He claimed that since the announcement of election schedule, more than 21,000 opposition leaders and activists were arrested.

thedailystar.net

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