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Bangladesh polls: Oppn to continue peaceful protests against Hasina govt

The BNP led by former PM Khalida Zia and the newly-formed Amar Bangladesh Party claim that the low turnout at around 40 per cent was evidence that their boycott movement had been successful

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina | Wikimedia Commons

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina

Press Trust of India Dhaka

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Leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which boycotted Sunday's general elections, said it plans to intensify its anti-government movement through a peaceful public engagement programme from Tuesday as it dubbed the polls as "fake."

In the meantime, the country's main opposition party's leaders at various levels are performing their duties in monitoring the situation after the elections.
The BNP led by former prime minister Khalida Zia and the newly-formed Amar Bangladesh Party claim that the low turnout at around 40 per cent was evidence that their boycott movement had been successful, the Dhaka Tribune newspaper reported.
BNP leaders said that peaceful democratic protest programmes will be accelerated, and the people's right to vote will be established through this programme.
Quoting party sources, the report said that the BNP's high command has given a message to leaders and activists at all levels that even if they cannot stop the polling in the 12th national parliament election, the new parliament will not last long.
Most opposition parties are boycotting the election, in which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also head of the Awami League party is set to win a fourth consecutive term.
Leaders who are on the run, the victims of lawsuits and attacks, have been instructed to face the situation with courage and patience, the report said.
Meanwhile, members of the BNP Standing Committee described the 12th parliamentary election as a fake one.
Standing Committee member Abdul Moyeen Khan said: This is not an election. It is a fake election. The report on this election will come out in all the media in the country and abroad.
About the party's programmes after the polls, he said: "We have to wait for a day for the programme after the polls. The BNP is struggling to bring back the democratic rights of people through peaceful movement involving people. Until this right is realised, the BNP will continue the systematic struggle on the streets.
He claimed BNP leaders had collected pictures of various polling stations since polling started in the morning, and there were no voters.
The reality is this farce in the name of elections in Bangladesh today has been boycotted, he was quoted as saying by the report.
BNP wants to establish people's right to vote even after the election. Grassroots leaders of BNP want public programmes; they want to enter the field in the middle of the movement, Khan said.
He also said the party is waiting for a message from the international community, including the US.
The ruling Awami League has accused the BNP of trying to disrupt the election by unleashing a "reign of terror on innocent people."

On Friday, the UN Special Rapporteur, Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, said he was "deeply disturbed" by the repressive environment surrounding the polls in Bangladesh.

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First Published: Jan 07 2024 | 11:00 PM IST

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