Friday, 24 May, 2019

New election date aimed at keeping foreign observers at bay: BNP

Published on: 7:20 pm - Tuesday | November 13, 2018

BNP on Tuesday alleged that the general election date was fixed on December 30 at the behest of the government to rig vote amid the absence of foreign election observers and diplomats due to Christmas and New Year.
“The election date has been set on December 30 so that foreign observers can’t stay here and monitor the polls. The foreign observers, ambassadors, high commissioners and officials of different countries will be on leave on the occasion of Christmas , 31st and  New Year,” said party senior joint secretary general Rizvi Ahmed.
Speaking at a press briefing at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he renewed their demand for deferring the election schedule by a month. “A fresh schedule must be announced further and a level-playing field will have to be created for all the political parties.”
Amid demand from opposition political parties, the Election Commission on Monday deferred the 11th national election to December 30 from December 23.
Rizvi criticized the Election Commission (EC) for its decision on using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in 80-100 constituencies, saying it is  part of a ‘master plan of vote rigging’.
He urged the EC to retreat from its decision of using the EVMs for the sake of holding a credible election.
The BNP leader alleged that their party’s ailing chairperson Khaleda Zia has been kept in jail only to minus her from election and politics out of vengeance.
He demanded Khaleda be freed immediately without any condition.
Rizvi said law enforcers have continued arresting their party leaders and activists in false cases and raiding their houses as the EC has failed to ensure a minimum election atmosphere.
Like the previous day, huge BNP nomination hopefuls from across the country started gathering in front of the party office since early morning along with their thousands of supporters to collect nomination papers.
The party started the sale of the nomination papers around 10am on the second day today.
According to the party sources, a total of 1,326 forms were sold on the first day on Monday. Each nomination seekers has to pay Tk 5,000 to buy the form.
The aspirants can collect the nomination form until November 16 as the deadline has been extended by two more days.
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