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12 January, 2019 12:32:27 AM

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BNP collects ‘evidence of malpractice’ from nat’l polls candidates

Rafiqul Islam Azad, Dhaka
BNP collects ‘evidence of malpractice’ from nat’l polls candidates

At least 120 defeated BNP candidates have sent allegations of electoral malpractice to the BNP central office in Naya Paltan. These range from stuffing of ballots, vote rigging to obstructing voters during the just concluded parliamentary elections, according to party sources.

The time slated for sending the allegations ended on January 10. However, the party is still reminding its candidates to send their allegations at the earliest, said the sources.

Candidates are submitting the complaints to BNP secretary general, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, at the party’s Gulshan office in person, or sending these by mail or courier.

A senior BNP leader said after receiving the allegations the candidates would together file cases over their allegations from their respective constituencies before the dedicated High Court bench and pro-BNP lawyers would assist them.

The party is also planning to publish a "white paper" over the allegations of stuffing of ballots, vote rigging and other anomalies during the December 30 elections, he said   

Mirza Alamgir, who is also spokesperson of the Jatiya Oikyafront, at a meeting of the steering committee on January 3 instructed all candidates to submit their allegations to the BNP central office by January 10 and file cases before courts.

The Jatiya Oikyafront had rejected the December 30 election results even before the announcement over allegations of massive vote riggings in assistance with the Election Commission, administration and law enforcement agencies.

"Till Friday afternoon, we have received 120 submissions from candidates of the ‘sheaf of paddy’ over allegations of stuffing of ballots, vote rigging, obstructing voters and forcing our polling agents to leave the centre,” said Md Salahuddin Khan, information-collecting officer of the BNP.

At least 23 candidates submitted their allegations without photographs of the incidents. Some of them submitted pen drives containing visual material of the allegations, he said.

Salahuddin, also a former police officer, said at least 19 BNP workers were killed in election related incidents, 10 of them on the polling day itself. Besides, over 15,000 opposition leaders and activists were injured by their opponents who carried out over 3,200 attacks on them.

BNP joint secretary general Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal said that after collecting all the allegations from the candidates, they would publish a “white paper” on the unprecedented vote rigging.  “We want to publish a ‘white paper’ on the allegations and place it before the nation as evidence. It will prove that the government turned the election into a farce,” he added.

He said the nature of the allegations filed by the BNP candidates include stuffing of ballots on the previous night of the polling day, casting more votes than that of the polling centres and the constituency, forcing polling agents to leave, taking a break in the name of having lunch, ruling party leaders and activists standing in a queue and obstructing voters.

BNP standing committee member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said the party is receiving the allegations from the candidates, but it is yet to decide as how they would utilise the charges.  “We are yet to go through the allegations. We will take a decision later on,” he added.

Another standing committee member, Nazrul Islam Khan, said the candidates would file their cases before the High Court bench set up to resolve national election related allegations.

Another joint secretary general and party candidate, Mujibur Rahman Sarwar, said he had submitted allegations of irregularities during the polling on Thursday. These include creating obstacles to obtain nomination, the “mysterious role” of the EC and returning officers in scrutinising nomination papers, arresting candidates, discouraging local and foreign observers, obstructing electioneering by opposition candidates,  controlling the social and mass media, and preventing the army from intervening.

The BNP and its partners in the Jatiya Oikyafront and the 20-Party Alliance fielded candidates in 299 constituencies. Of them, only eight won, while the Awami League-led Grand Alliance secured 288 seats.

The Oikyafront, which demanded holding of a fresh election under a non-partisan government, decided that its winning candidates would not take oath.

MK

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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