12:00 AM, December 31, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:15 AM, December 31, 2018

Leftist parties reject polls, demand re-election

Rejecting the 11th parliamentary election, several leftist political parties yesterday demanded a “re-election” under a “non-partisan caretaker government” as early as possible.

In separate statements and press briefings, they heavily came down on the countrywide “vote rigging” by the ruling party alliance led by Awami League (AL).

“It has been proved once again that there is no chance of a free, neutral [and] acceptable election under a partisan government. The result of this election will not be acceptable,” said Mohammad Shah Alam, coordinator of Bam Ganatantrik Jote, a group of eight leftist parties including the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD).

“Bam Ganatantrik Jote is rejecting this forced and farcical election which has been staged through blocking the country [and] snatching the voting rights of voters,” Alam said at a press conference in the group's Dhaka office.

Meanwhile, Comrade Khaliquzzaman, general secretary of (BSD), in a separate statement, also demanded a “re-election” under a “non-partisan caretaker government”.

Awami League has executed its “blueprint” of holding a “manipulated and one-sided election” again like the one of January 5, 2014, he alleged in the statement.

Besides, CPB President Mujahidul Islam Selim and the party's secretary Mohammad Shah Alam issued a joint statement, calling it “fake election of fake votes”.

“A set-up for vote rigging was created before the polls by the ruling party to ensure a fake victory. They made all arrangements to taint the foundation of democracy,” they said in the statement.

People will reject this “predetermined election” and the next parliament will not be considered “parliament of people's representatives”, they said.

Criticising the ruling party men, administration and police, they said that the government created an environment of “panic” to hold an “one-sided” election.

They also alleged that most of the ballots were cast in the previous night and opposition agents were driven out from the polling centres by the ruling party men.

The opposition supporters were also barred from casting their votes, they added.

Earlier at noon, Mujahidul Islam Selim wrote on his Facebook, “According to news from across the country, it has been proven that this election has gone beyond the farcical 'yes-no' voting during Ziaur Rahman and Ershad regimes.”

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Abdul Malek Ratan, who contested in Cumilla-4 as a candidate of Jatiya Oikyafront, yesterday alleged that AL-led alliance had carried out “massive terrorism” to thwart the huge turnout of Oikyafront voters towards the election centers in the area and other parts of the country.

“I demand holding a re-election under a non-partisan caretaker government to establish democracy by ensuring people's voting rights,” said Ratan, also general secretary of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD).

Saiful Haque, general secretary of the Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh, in another statement, termed the election “meaningless and failed”.

“Government and the Election Commission have destroyed the whole electoral system once again,” he said.

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