BNP-led alliance rejects polls

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The BNP-led opposition alliance on Sunday rejected the ‘unilateral,’ ‘farcical’ national elections and asked the government to immediately resign and announce a fresh schedule of the 10th parliamentary elections under a neutral non-party government.
The BNP chairperson’s advisory council member Osman Farruk hours after
the polling said that people had rejected the ‘farcical elections’ and had not responded to the call of the prime minister and ministers to go to polling centres.
Farruk at a news briefing at his house at Gulshan in the capital claimed that voter turnout in the elections was not more than 3 to 5 per cent.
He asked the government to sit for a dialogue with political parties to form an election-time government immediately, cancelling the results of the ‘farcical elections.’
The BNP leader also asked the government to hand over power to a neutral
non-party government for holding the 10th parliamentary elections afresh.
Farruk said that an insignificant participation of voters in the elections was the reflection of non-confidence in the government.
As an Indian journalist asked about the Election Commission’s claim of about 60 per cent of votes being cast, he said the commission was ‘spineless, subservient to the government and the puppet of a political party [the Awami League].’
He said that the figures the commission gave were ‘unacceptable.’ Farruk said that the BNP had figures from various polling centres which showed that only 3 to 5 per cent of the votes were cast.
He said that voting in Bangladesh is like a festival but it was festive and it could be called an obituary of democracy.
In reply to a question, Farruk said that they were demanding a blanket resignation of the government.
He said that their first condition to dialogues with political parties was to cancel the election results.
He termed the government ‘illegal’ and said that it had no moral right to spend tax payer’s money this way.
In reply to another question, Farruk said that the opposition movement would continue until the goal was achieved.
Farruk said that according to media information and the BNP’s inquiries across the country, not more than 3 to 5 per cent of voters had on an average gone to the polling stations.
He said that if the government thought that people had given it their mandate with this turnout, the government would be living in a fool’s paradise.
He said that the BNP had not accepted the election results. He said that the ‘subservient Election Commission’ should resign for holding such an election.
He said that people had given a fitting reply to ‘BAKSAL attitude’ of the government by boycotting the elections at the call of the opposition. The government has become illegal after people rejected the elections, he said.
In response to the government claim that voters did not go to polling stations because of cold, he said that people had sent this ‘dead government to cold storage.’ He said that 22 leaders and activists had been killed across the country on the day.
The acting BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, meanwhile in a statement issued on behalf of the party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, and the party’s senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman, congratulated people on their rejecting the elections and thwarting government efforts to hold a unilateral election.

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