BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday blasted Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda for, what the opposition leader said as, making his office an ineffective institution.
Fakhrul, addressing a protest rally in Dhaka, demanded cancellation of the results of by-elections in two parliamentary constituencies held on Thursday, for ‘massive rigging’ and withdrawal of ‘false cases’ filed against his party leaders and workers.
He termed the claims by the CEC that Bangladesh’s election officers could count the votes within 4-5 minutes whereas the US authorities could not complete vote counting in 4-5 days ridiculous.
Huda reportedly stated on Thursday that the US had a few things to learn from Bangladesh’s electoral system. The CEC was reacting to the delay in counting votes of America’s November 3 presidential election due mainly to late arrival of mail-in ballots permitted by American laws.
“You (Nurul Huda) can do it because the election results were pre-determined,” the BNP secretary general said at the rally in front of the National Press Club.
Mirza Fakhrul earlier on Tuesday asked the government and the Election Commission led by Huda to take lessons from the functioning of America’s electoral system despite allegations of fraud from the sitting president that had no proof so far.
CEC Huda presided over the process of the December 2018 general electionwhich was plagued by the opposition allegations of rigging and ballot stuffing at the night before the voting day.
A former bureaucrat who was appointed the CEC before the 2018 polls, Huda has all along claimed the elections that were held under his commission were free and fair while the opposition came up with complaints of manipulation, malpractice and voter intimidation in almost all cases.
On Saturday, Mirza Fakhrul announced demonstration programmes to protest against the irregularities in the by-elections and repressive measures against party activists.
“The BNP believes in democracy, not terrorism,” he said and called for national unity to restore democracy in the country.
Hundreds of leaders and activists of the party joined the rally, presided over by BNP Dhaka City South president Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel.