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Moudud: Shame for government if the nation can’t vote

  • Published at 02:10 am December 27th, 2018
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BNP Standing Committee member Barrister Moudud Ahmed speaks to reporters in an impromptu press briefing at his ancestral home in Manikpur village, in Noakhali’s Companiganj upazila, on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 Dhaka Tribune

The senior BNP leader said his party and Oikya Front would remain in the election race, no matter what happens

If the nation cannot exercise its voting rights on Sunday, it will be shameful for the government and the death of democracy, BNP Standing Committee member Barrister Moudud Ahmed said on Wednesday.

Moudud, who is running for office in Noakhali 5 seat for Jatiya Oikya Front – of which BNP is a key element – held a press briefing at his village home in Manikpur village, in the district’s Companiganj upazila, after failing to hold street rallies in the area.

“This is not an election,” he told reporters. “It’s the reign of terror everywhere. If this situation continues, people will lose their trust in the election process.”

He said he was hopeful that if the election was free and fair, and the voters were able to exercise their voting rights, then the sheaf of paddy symbol would win by a large margin in the 11th general elections, due on Sunday.

Moudud also claimed that the deployment of the armed forces members had done little to improve the situation.

“When there is no security for the candidates, the voters cannot be safe either,” he said.

Alleging the ruling party and the administration of not ensuring a level playing field, Moudud said: “At least 31 cases have been filed against us, in which 965 of our leaders and activists have been made accused. At least 1,649 more have been listed as unidentified accused. Since December 10, 766 of our members have been injured in attacks on our campaigns. At least 78 of our field workers have been put in jail. Do those numbers speak of a good election environment?

“Despite this situation, we will remain in the election race till the last minute,” the BNP leader vowed. “Let the people of the country and the international community see how an election is held under a partisan government.”

Moudud further said this was a great opportunity for the Awami League to prove that holding a fair election is possible under a partisan government, but they failed to do so.

The press briefing was also attended by BNP’s Companiganj unit Orgnizational Secretary Md Jahangir Alam, Companiganj municipality unit Organizational Secretary Mominul Haque, and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal’s Noakhali district unit General Secretary Abu Hasan Md Noman, among others.

In an immediate reaction to Moudud’s press briefing, the Companiganj upazila unit of Awami League held a press briefing later in the day, where they refuted the BNP leader’s allegations.

Speaking at the press briefing, Companiganj Upazila Parishad Chairman and Awami League’s district unit Organizational Secretary Mizanur Rahman Badal said: “Barrister Moudud Ahmed’s allegations are false and baseless. He made all these statements after not getting the expected response from the voters in the area (Noakhali 5).”