Claiming that the country’s people have rejected Sunday’s ‘lopsided’ national election with hatred by staying indoor, BNP demanded cancellation of the polls and announcement of a fresh schedule for the 10th parliamentary elections.
It also asked the government to quit and take initiatives for holding the election under a non-party caretaker government through talks with the opposition parties.
“People have rejected election with hatred the call of the Prime Minister and Ministers for going to voting stations. People didn’t go to the polling stations and thus showed their no-confidence in the government,” said BNP chairperson’s adviser Osman Farroque.
The BNP leader made the remarks while giving his party’s reaction to the 10th parliamentary elections at a press conference at his Gulshan residence.
Amid boycott by the BNP and its like-minded parties, the national election was held on Sunday amid widespread violence and low voter turnout.
Referring to the thin presence of voters at polling stations, Osman Farroque said people extended their support to the 18-party demand for holding the election under a non-party caretaker government.
He said they will continue their ongoing movement until the fall of this regime and achievement of their desired goal for holding the general election under a non-party caretaker government.
Farrqoue also announced a 48-hour countrywide shutdown from 6am Monday demanding cancellation of the election results and protesting the killing of opposition activists during the voting.
He claimed that at least 22 opposition leaders and activists were killed in firings by law enforcers and attacks by ruling party “cadres. Besides, several hundred opposition men were also injured.”
On behalf of opposition leader Khaleda Zia, he tanked the country’s people for not appearing at the election centres.
Criticising the ruling party leaders’ comments that democracy has finally won by the election, Farroque said the voter turnout in the election was not more than 3 to 5 percent. “If the government thinks people have given them fresh mandate with this small percentage of votes, they’re leaving in fools’ paradise. As per our concern this election is null and void.”
The BNP leader claimed the government has lost its moral right to stay in power and spend taxpayers’ money as people have no support for it. “We don’t accept the election and its results. The government has to cancel the results and quit.”
He asked the government to immediately initiate talks with the opposition political parties for forming a non-party neutral election-time government for arranging the 10th parliamentary polls.
As a foreign reporter sought his comment about the ruling party leader’s comment that there is no independent election observer is needed, Farroque said the ruling party’s stance is not consistence with the free, fair and neutral elections.
He said most countries in the world, including the USA, the European ones and even Russia, and the United Nations did not send observers to monitor the elections here as they believed no free, fair and credible elections are possible under the current regime.
Farroque was critical of India for sending observers to monitor ‘undemocratic’ elections. “It’s a matter of surprise that being one of the largest democratic countries in the world, India is going with the undemocratic elections.”
Mentioning that voting in Bangladesh is like a festival to people but the festivity was missing on Sunday. “It was almost an obituary of democracy.”
As NDTV reporters drew his attention that the EC told her around 62 percent vote has been cast, Farroque said, “The EC is absolutely spineless and subservient to the government. It’s a puppet of the ruling party (AL). So, their data are totally unacceptable. We have data from various polling centres. According to that only 3 to 5 percent votes were cast.”