Convince govt to hold another election, Oikyafront urges diplomats

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Dhaka, Jan 06: Jatiya Oikyafront leaders on Sunday urged the foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka to convince the government to hold another election in a free and fair manner to resolve the crisis over the national election.At a meeting with the foreign diplomats, the senior Oikyafront leaders, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, also presented various allegations of election irregularities and provided the envoys with different paper cuttings and video clips in this regard, UNB reported.

The nearly one-and-a-half-hour meeting was held at Hotel Amari in the city.

Emerging from the meeting, Dr Kamal Hossain said, “We had a very good discussion. We drew their attention to what had happened on the voting day. They themselves saw what had happened. So, there was no debate on it. We placed information and data over the election irregularities before them.”

He further said, “They (envoys) gave us a patient hearing. I requested them to convince the government to hold another election to resolve the prevailing problem.”

Dr Kamal, also the convener of the Oikyafront, said the diplomats wanted to know what their alliance now wants. “We told them people will be able to peacefully exercise their voting rights if a good election is held, and it can help peacefully resolve the crisis. It’ll also pave a way for all of us building a bright future of the country together.”

He said they think the friendly foreign countries can play a constructive role in the interest of the country, its people and democracy by creating pressure on the government to hold a credible election.

“We would like to say let bygones be bygones. Now we want a good election to be held. A democratic government will be established if a peaceful election is ensured, and such administration will be able to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of people.”

A Gano Forum leader who was present at the meeting said Dr Kamal Hossain first addressed the meeting and depicted the pre-election atmosphere and the various election ‘irregularities’ that took place the night before the voting and the election day.

Later, he said a power-point presentation was made on the ‘election frauds’ and various allegations of vote ‘rigging’ and results ‘anomalies’.

The Gano Forum leader said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also talked about election violence and how a ‘controlled’ election was held suing the state machinery.

Three female Oikyafront candidates–Afroza Abbas, Rumana Morshed Kanak Chapa and Zeba Kham– also shared their experiences of the election.

BNP sources said Ambassadors, High Commissioners and representatives from over 30 countries and organisations, including the UN, the EU, the USA, the UK, France, Canada, Germany, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Russia, India, China, Pakistan, Japan, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Nepal, Malaysia and Iran, attended the meeting.

Apart from Dr Kamal and Mirza Fakhrul, BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Abdul Moyeen Khan, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, vice chairman Abdul Awal Mintoo, JSD president ASM Abdur Rob, Gano Forum executive president Subrata Chowdhury, general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna and Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury were, among others, present.