AL holds polls amid oppositions’ boycott

Dhaka, Bangladesh:  At least 21 people have died and some were injured in clashes and police action during the polls held in 147 seats in 59 districts yesterday amid the opposition alliance’s boycott and efforts to foil it, according to Chief Election Commissioner(CEC).
CEC Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad has made no attempt to hide his disappointment that all the parties did not contest Sunday’s general elections.

CEC is to be happy with over 40% votes and Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad, however, claims that fair elections have been held at 97 percent of the polling centers.

Voting was suspended at around 540 polling centers due to violence.
Re-polls will be held in those centers as and when the Election Commission decides to have them.

He said the ‘full information’ was not available until the wee hours of Monday.

Though Awami League has expressed satisfaction with the polls, Opposition BNP-led 18-Party alliance called it a ‘farce’.

The Opposition alliance has called a 48-hour shutdown demanding cancellation of the polls. They are claiming that people have rejected Sunday’s polls.

“Election Commission Secretary Mohammad Sadiq said voting had to be stopped at 540 polling centers out of 18,000 — roughly three percent of the total number of polling centers.”

More than 100 polling centers were set on fire in the rundown to the polls and on election-day.

“It would have been better if all parties had joined the polls. We also wanted it and waited for that to happen,” the CEC said while briefing the media about the polls.

“Elections could have been much better if all had participated,” said the CEC, sounding somewhat upset.

Though the BNP dubbed the Election Commission as ‘spineless’, the Commission claims it had proved its neutrality and acceptability in the City Corporation polls where most of the BNP-backed candidates had won.

But the BNP and its allies denounced the polls as ‘one sided and farcical’ and have called for a 48-hour strike beginning 6am on Monday to nullify the results. BNP wants a fresh poll under a non-political caretaker dispensation, not with Hasina at the helm.

That is why the polls may lead to a new parliament and a government and certainly not bring an end to the turmoil that has gripped Bangladesh. The Opposition is destined to continue its violent agitation for fresh elections under a caretaker, according to BNP spokesperson from Dhaka.

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