12:00 AM, January 04, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:43 AM, January 04, 2019

'30-60pc votes cast night before polls'

Alleges Oikyafront as its seven MPs-elect refuse to take oath

Seven MPs-elect of Jatiya Oikyafront yesterday refrained from taking oath and the alliance claimed that ruling party men had stuffed the boxes with “30 to 60” percent of the ballots the night before the polls.

Hours after 289 newly elected lawmakers took oath at the parliament complex yesterday, an eight-member delegation led by Oikyafront spokesperson Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir went to the Election Commission and handed over a memorandum to Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda.

In the memorandum, the alliance also alleged that the administration was blatantly used against the people. It was a "breach of trust and the voters were deceived”, the Oikyafront said.

"This election is a cruel mockery of the people,” Fakhrul, also the BNP secretary general, told reporters afterwards.

"There is no question of taking oath as we have rejected the results,” he said replying to a query about whether the seven lawmakers-elect would take oath.

Raising allegations of widespread ballot stuffing and irregularities, Oikyafront rejected the results of Sunday's polls and demanded immediate national election under a nonpartisan neutral government.

The alliance yesterday submitted some “evidence of election-related anomalies and undue influence since the announcement of election schedule”.

"We've submitted evidence to the commission. We hope they [commission] will review those,” Fakhrul said. "The nation was pushed into darkness through this cruel drama in the name of election.”

The AL rowdies with the help of law enforcers forced all shops to close across the country before 9:00pm the night before the election to create a ghostly atmosphere, the memorandum said.

After stuffing the ballot boxes at night, they cast false votes during election day and voters were forced to vote for boat, it said.

It said ballot papers in almost all polling centres ran out by noon and in many cases polling officials took lunch breaks.

The night before the polls, AL men terrorised voters and threatened them with dire consequences if they went to vote, the Oikyafront claimed, adding that the AL men showed off their muscle power at intersections to intimidate voters.

“Law enforcers did not take any steps when help was sought.”

Counting of votes began before 4:00pm at many places, the Oikyafront said, adding that the EC's role was mysterious.

It said the EC and the courts cancelled candidature of 18 Oikyafront candidates and at least 16 other candidates were arrested.

There was no change in the civil and police administration. Judicial and executive magistrates were made inactive, it claimed.

“The media and the social media were controlled and the army was made inactive,” it said.

The EC must take the responsibilities of depriving the people of the country from exercising their right to vote, it said.

BNP leader Nazrul Islam Khan, Moyeen Khan, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) President ASM Abdur Rob, Krishak Sramik Janata League President Kader Siddique, Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna and Gono Forum leader Mostofa Mohsin Mantu were in the Oikyafront delegation.

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