Yet, the party fails winning a single seat in 11th parliamentary polls
In the 11th parliamentary elections, the Islami Andolan Bangladesh (IAB) has bagged the third highest number of votes, following Awami League-led Grand Alliance and BNP-led Jatiya Oikya Front.
Yet, the party could not manage securing a single seat in the December 30 polls. The IAB also rejected the election results, amid claims of harassment and intimidation of its polling agents and voters.
According the Election Commission, 80,259,172 votes were cast, which is 77% of the country’s total number of eligible voters.
Of the total votes, the Awami League-led Grand Alliance received 61,703,251 votes (77%), and won 288 parliamentary seats out of 298, where results have been announced.
Oikya Front, which won only seven seats, got 9,229,712 votes, while the IAB got 1,236,983, according to the Election Commission tally.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune earlier, IAB Dhaka city south unit President Imtiaz Ahmed said winning seats is not currently the party’s goal. Instead, the IAB wishes to increase the total number of their followers.
The IAB was founded as Islami Shasontontro Andolan by late Maulana Syed Muhammad Fazlul Karim, a Barisal-based pir (spiritual leader), on March 13, 1987. The name was later changed to IAB after the Election Commission did not allow them to register under the original name.
The primary aim of the organization is to establish Islamic law in Bangladesh. In this regard, the IAB has long been a rival of Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s other Islamic party and a partner in BNP-led 20-party alliance.
The IAB is the only party that nominated candidates in all 300 constituencies, although one nomination was later cancelled by the Election Commission.
Voters double in a decade
In the 8th parliamentary polls in 2001, then Islami Shasontontro Andolan won only 5,944 votes, coming in 16th.
This dramatically changed in 2008, during the 9th parliamentary elections, when IAB’s votes surged to 658,254. This time around, that figure doubled again.
The party boycotted the 10th parliamentary elections in 2014.
At least 213 candidates of the party came in third position in their respective constituencies. Around 22 candidates contested as main opponents in their constituencies, and came in second individually.
Md Khairuzzaman became the main opponent and got second position from Dinajpur 3 by mustering 39,247 votes.
Md Maruf Sheikh earned only 71 votes in Gopalganj 3 constituency, which is the lowest number of votes cast for an individual IAB candidate. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina won this constituency.