POST TIME: 10 February, 2020 12:41:27 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 10 February, 2020 10:35:21 AM
Tabith, Ishraque brief diplomats on city polls

Tabith, Ishraque
brief diplomats
on city polls

The BNP mayoral candidates for the just-concluded Dhaka North and South city corporations yesterday briefed foreign diplomats on alleged vote rigging through electronic voting machines (EVMS).

The two candidates, who were defeated by Awami League (AL) opponents, briefed the diplomats in a closed-door meeting at Lakeshore Hotel in the city.

Diplomats from 13 countries and development agencies, including ambassadors of Russia, Denmark, and Norway, were present at the briefing. The other countries included Germany, Turkey, India, and the European Union.

Sources said the two BNP candidates made presentations focusing on the overall scenario of the February 1 elections. They showed video clippings of alleged obstruction of voters, manipulation through EVMs, grabbing of polling centers, and attacks on journalists.

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir was present at the meeting.

On behalf of the BNP's foreign affairs committee, Ishraque Hossain, who was the mayoral candidate for the Dhaka South City Corporation, said they made a presentation by combining the incidents that had taken

place on polling day as the foreign diplomats wanted to know about it. Replying to a question, Ishraque said that development agencies too wanted to know the electoral process. “We briefed them how the elections were manipulated at different levels and poll results were changed,” he added.

He, however, said that they did not lodge any complaint to the diplomats but only briefed them about the situation. No benefits could be gained by lodging complaints with the authorities, he added.

“The diplomats were surprised at the scale of vote rigging in such a major election,” said Ishraque.

BNP standing committee members Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku, Abdul Awal Mintoo, Ismail Jobiullah, Shamsur Rahman Shimul Biswas, Shama Obayed, and Zahiruddin Swapan also attended the meeting.

AL mayoral candidates Atiqul Islam and Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh won the civic polls held on February 1.