According to 2008 election regulations, parties may file petitions with the High Court regarding the election
Jatiya Oikya Front—led by Dr Kamal Hossain and BNP-led 20-Party Alliance candidates—will take legal action over the alleged rampant irregularities reported during the 11th general election on December 30.
According to the parties’ sources, candidates—or their election agents—from all constituencies, will file a lawsuit with the High Court’s election tribunal; a bench designated to address matters concerning the election. This will occur after written complaints have been submitted to the returning or assistant returning officers of their respective constituencies.
Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, who contested for a Bogra seat with BNP’s symbol, said: “I will file a lawsuit and submit a written complaint to the returning officers as well. Therefore, I recommend all candidates to do the same.”
Requesting to remain anonymous, a Jatiya Oikya Front Steering Committee member said the decision to separately file petitions with the court has been made. Now, they are trying to ally themselves with parties that are not part of the Awami League-led Grand Alliance.
At Monday’s (December 31) meeting at the Motijheel office of Dr Kamal Hossain, Oikya Front steering panel member Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury was assigned to meet the Leftist parties’ coalition meeting.
Meanwhile, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) president ASM Abdur Rab was assigned to reach out to Islami Andolan Bangladesh.
However, Islami Andolan spokesperson Gazi Ataur Rahman appeared to be pessimistic about taking legal action regarding the election.
He said: “Actually, there was no election in the country. What is the point of taking it to court?”
According to 2008 election regulations, indignant parties may file petitions with the High Court regarding the election, within 45 days of the publication of gazette notifications on polls results.
Thus, Oikya Front and 20-Party Alliance candidates can file a lawsuit because the gazette notification was issued on Wednesday.
The Representation of the People’s Order (RPO) also maintains a provision to challenge the High Court’s decision in the Appellate Division.
Meanwhile, BNP has instructed its candidates, who contested the election using its sheaf of paddy symbol, to join an emergency meeting on Thursday to be held at the party chief’s Gulshan office in Dhaka.
A BNP leader has said they are to compile a report regarding the voting situation in all the constituencies, as well as details as about: alleged election rigging, arrests of polling agents or local leaders, the number of casualties or those injured in election violence, and many more.
A total of 298 candidates, including those of BNP’s allies in the 20-Party Alliance and Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikya Front, contested the Dec 30 election using BNP’s sheaf of paddy symbol.
After a significant meeting of the Oikya Front top leaders on Tuesday, Dr Kamal Hossain said that they will submit a memorandum to the Election Commission to hold a fresh election.
Awami League will form a government for a third term after winning the election on December 30. It won 259 of 299 seats while the Grand Alliance won 288 seats.
BNP, which boycotted the last general election in 2014, won just five seats; its ally, Gono Forum, led by Dr Kamal, won two seats.