12:00 AM, January 07, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:09 AM, January 07, 2019

No Oikya MPs to take oath

Decides alliance, ending speculations that 2 Gonoforum MPs may join JS

The Jatiya Oikyafront yesterday decided that none of its seven MPs-elect, including the two from Gonoforum, would join parliament.

It comes a day after Oikyafront Convener Dr Kamal Hossain hinted that the two Gonoforum lawmakers-elect might take oath of office to play their role in the House.

Following his comments, various media outlets yesterday reported about a possible crack in the Oikyafront, a combine of the BNP, Gonoforum, JSD (Rob), Krishak Sramik Janata League and Nagorik Oikya, formed about two months before the election.

But after a meeting of the steering committee of the coalition, Gonoforum General Secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu trashed the media reports, saying there was no rift in their alliance.

In a written statement read out at a press conference, Montu said Dr Kamal in no way said that Gonoforum MPs would take oath.

"We hope there'll be no misunderstanding about the issue anymore," he said.

"The Jatiya Oikyafront is more united now and will remain so to realise people's voting and other rights after the farce of an election on December 30," Montu said.

"We aren't taking oath now. I would like to state in clear terms that no Gonoforum MPs will take oath."

The alliance will continue its programmes demanding a fresh election under a nonparty administration, he said. 

Talking to The Daily Star, Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said, “The committee meeting decided that no MPs-elect would take oath as we have rejected the farcical election.”

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, JSD chief ASM Abdur Rob, Krishak Sramik Janata League President Kader Siddiqui, Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Gonoforum Executive President Subrata Chowdhury and Mostafa Mohshin Montu were present at the meeting, with Kamal in the chair.

At the meeting at the eminent jurist's Motijheel chamber, alliance partners were able to convince him that they should not send any of their MPs-elect to parliament as they rejected the election results, said a leader of the alliance. 

The meeting also discussed holding a rally in the capital and a view-exchange meeting with a cross section of people on the “widespread irregularities” in the election.

Earlier on Saturday, Kamal, also president of the Gonoforum, said, "We've rejected the election, but the way our two candidates came out successful in such an election through competition is a big achievement for them. So, we're thinking positively about sending them to parliament.”

He said their MPs could play a positive role.

"If the others [BNP MPs] think it won't be possible for them to play a good role in parliament, they may make that decision in their own way," he had told journalists.

After Saturday's press briefing, Gonoforum leader Sultan Mohammad Munsur, elected from Moulvibazar-2, told this correspondent that he and his party colleague Mukabbir Khan, elected from Sylhet-2, would take oath as lawmakers.

Munsur, a former Awami League leader, was elected with BNP's electoral symbol “sheaf of paddy” while Mukabbir with Gonoforum's symbol “rising sun”.

This is the first time any Gonoforum leader won in national election since its formation in 1992.

Hours after Sunday's voting was over, the Oikyafront termed the election a farce and demanded a fresh election under a nonpartisan government.

The next day, the BNP said that its five MPs-elect would not take oath of office, as they already rejected the results.

Under article 67 (1) (a) of the constitution, lawmakers' seats fall vacant if they fail to take oath within 90 days from the date of the first sitting of the House.

In the December 30 polls, 280 candidates of the Oikyafront and the BNP-led 20-party alliance ran with “sheaf of paddy”.

The alliance won only seven seats against 288 secured by the AL-led grand alliance.

The Jatiya Party, a key partner of the grand alliance, bagged 22 seats while independent candidates got three.

Voting in Gaibandha-3 was rescheduled for January 27 following the death of a candidate, and re-polling will take place in three centres in Brahmanbaria-2 on January 9.


Oikyafront leaders yesterday called upon the foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka to convince the government to hold a fresh election in a free and fair manner to resolve the crisis.

At a meeting with the diplomats, senior Oikyafront leaders, led by Kamal, also presented various allegations of election irregularities and provided the envoys with different paper cuttings and video clips.

Emerging from the meeting at a city hotel, Kamal said, "We had a very good discussion. We drew their attention to what had happened on the voting day. They themselves saw what had happened. So, there was no debate on it. We placed information and data over the election irregularities before them."

The friendly foreign countries can play a constructive role in the interest of the country, its people and democracy by creating pressure on the government to hold a credible election, he said.

The Gonoforum leader said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also talked about election violence and how a “controlled” election was held using the state machinery.

Ambassadors, High Commissioners and representatives from over 30 countries and organisations, including the UN, the EU, the USA, the UK, France, Canada, Germany, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Russia, India, China, Pakistan, Japan, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Nepal, Malaysia and Iran, attended the meeting, BNP sources said.

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