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Dr Kamal: We will not boycott the polls even if we die

  • Published at 07:04 pm December 17th, 2018
WEB_Dr-Kamal_Election-Commission_Focus-Bangla_Edited_17.12.2018
Dr Kamal Hossain and some senior leaders of Jatiya Oikya Front brief reporters after a meeting with officials of Election Commission at the commission headquarters in Dhaka's Agargaon on Monday; December 17, 2018 Focus Bangla

The veteran jurist also complained to the CEC about the recent spate of attacks on his party’s election candidates and activists, including obstruction to campaigning, tearing opposition banners/posters, and creating an overall “reign of terror”.

Jatiya Oikya Front chief Dr Kamal Hossain said on Monday that they will not boycott the upcoming elections under any circumstances, even if they were to die.

Speaking at a press briefing after meeting with Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda at the Election Commission (EC) office in Dhaka’s Agargaon, he also added that if the government creates an environment where other parties cannot participate in the elections, we cannot let that happen.

“We will not boycott the elections even if we were to die,” he said. “Our party activists will take my dead body to the polling booth. My fingers will still have sense to press on the voting button. But most importantly, the election will happen.”

The veteran jurist also complained to the CEC about the recent spate of attacks on his party’s election candidates and activists, including obstruction to campaigning, tearing opposition banners/posters, and creating an overall “reign of terror”.

He demanded the commission probe into the incidents by investigating within 24 hours of any occurrence and take immediate action against those found guilty.

“We want an environment suitable for campaigning and voting. Tearing away another party’s posters is not right.”

Dr Kamal said the EC has the power to prevent such harassment and requested them to look into 27 such cases of violence inflicted against their party members, the reports of which they submitted to CEC.

Earlier, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, BNP secretary general, submitted a letter to the EC citing similar attacks on their alliance candidates in over 30 districts, including Dhaka, Chandpur, Comilla, Kushtia and others.

Alongside Dr Kamal, other Oikya Front leaders including Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, ASM Abdur Rob, Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan and more were present during the meeting.

'No level playing field in sight'

Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder said there is no level playing field for the 11th general election.

Speaking to reporters after Dr Kamal Hossain’s meeting with the CEC, he said that the phrase “level playing field” has now become meaningless, in light to recent attacks on opposition electoral candidates.

When asked whether he agreed with the CEC’s previous statement of a level playing field existent before the polls, he said “I do not oppose his statement. He expressed his opinion. I will express my disagreement if needed.”