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Dhaka Tribune

Oikya Front to announce movement demanding fresh polls

On Sunday evening, Oikya Front leaders held a meeting at Dr Kamal Hossain’s residence, and unanimously rejected the election results

Update : 31 Dec 2018, 10:44 AM

Jatiya Oikya Front, along with all major political opposition parties, is planning to announce a movement on the streets demanding fresh parliamentary elections.

A number of senior leaders belonging to the BNP, Left Democratic Alliance and several Islamist parties made the statement on Sunday.

All major opposition parties including Oikya Front contested in the 11th general polls. But soon after polls closed, they alleged the election was rigged and demanded cancellation of the polls.

On Sunday evening, Oikya Front leaders held a meeting at the residence of Dr Kamal Hossain, and unanimously rejected the election results. 

The Oikya Front called a press conference to give its official reaction to the election at 12pm on Monday in Dhaka, as many senior leaders of the alliance are supposed to reach Dhaka from all corners of Bangladesh by then.

Vice-Chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu of the BNP, which is one of the key partners of the Jatiya Oikya Front, on Sunday said: “There is no better example proving that elections can never be fair under a partisan government, and it was witnessed by people from both home and abroad.

Also Read- Oikya Front calls election a 'farce,' demands fresh polls

“The election results are yet to be fully published. After we get the complete results, we will decide our next move within the next few days.”

Meanwhile, several leaders of Jatiya Oikya Front and BNP said discussion about the fully published election results would be held in several phases. 

An insider from the BNP said the party’s standing committee would hold a meeting at 4pm on Monday, and an alliance meeting would be held the same evening around 6:20pm.

A member of the Jatiya Oikya Front Steering Committee, on condition of anonymity, said: “We held an initial meeting on Sunday. We will explore legal ramifications, and showcase the election results and polling centre video footage to the international community.”

“A plan for a movement will be finalized after these actions and several meetings,” he said.

What’s the plan?

Several senior leaders of Jatiya Oikya Front and BNP said they might hold strikes and organize a procession towards the Election Commission as part of the movement demanding fresh polls.

They added the movement would be coordinated with the parties that boycotted the election.

On Sunday, Dr Kamal Hossain said: “More than 100 Oikya Front candidates boycotted the election midway, sensing vote robbery.”

“Due to these circumstances, we are demanding a fresh election under a nonpartisan government and an impartial Election Commission. We will soon issue a letter to the Election Commission seeking re-election under a nonpartisan government.”

Meanwhile, leaders of the Left Democratic Alliance and Islami Andolan, which are not part of the Oikya Front, have also announced plans to launch a movement demanding fresh polls. Their demands include the formation of a new Election Commission and an election under an impartial government.

Echoing the same opinion, former coordinator of Left Democratic Alliance and Biplobi Workers Party President, Saiful Haque said: “We will decide the next course of action after a party meeting on Monday and an alliance meeting on Tuesday.

“We will launch a movement protesting the election, where the people’s democratic right to vote was seized. This Election Commission must resign.”

Islami Andolan Presidium Member Mosaddek Billah Al Madani said: “This election was a farce, but there is no one we can complain to. Now is the time to launch a movement with support from the people.”

Khelafat Majlish Secretary General Ahmed Abdul Quader also revealed the party’s next strategy would be announced in a few days.

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