30 December 2018, Sun, 12:50

Jamaat boycotts elections; terms this election as a deception with the people

Unprecedented rigging and intimidations marked worst ever poll in country’s history

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami’s Secretary General Dr. Shafiqur Rahman has issued the following statement on 30 December 2018 rejecting and boycotting the 2018 general election as the ruling party has made it completely mockery by conducting unprecedented level of rigging, intimidations and indiscriminate stuffing of ballot papers in favor of their candidates.

“Since the declaration of the election schedule, it has become apparent that 11th parliamentary election is going to be held as per the blue print design of the government. Different quarters and sections also pressed the government repeatedly to hold a credible election. International communities also urged for holding a free, fair and credible election. But since the beginning of the process, the government, election commission and the administration have started working hand in hand to secure the victory of the ruling party. Even after declaring the poll schedule, the election commission utterly failed to create a level playing field and a congenial atmosphere. However, we hoped that election would be a bit fair and the people would get the opportunity to cast their votes.

But we have been surprisingly observing that ignoring the people’s expectations, the ruling party men stuffed the ballot papers to fill up the ballot boxes even from the previous night of the election in order to ensure the victory of the ruling party candidates. This morning, on the official voting day, when the people started moving towards the polling centers, they were not allowed to get in. Even the polling agents of the candidates of ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ were not allowed to make entry to the polling centers. The ruling party cadres have attacked the opposition candidate’s polling agents and their supporters indiscriminately in presence of the law enforcers. Opposition candidates and their supporters were assaulted brutally. The picture of the election coming across the country are proving the farce and mockery that have taken place today in the name of election. It is nothing but the worst kind of deception with the people.

The people’s lives are at stake and became completely insured due to relentless and merciless attacks of the ruling party goons. Patrolling of the armed cadres are going on everywhere. Exercising voting rights is far away, people are struggling now to protect their lives and properties. Such a one-sided and farcical election cannot be accepted. So, under such an adverse circumstance, we, the candidates of Jamaat-e-Islami, as we are contesting in this election with the symbol ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ are declaring our decision to denounce and boycott this election.

We are calling upon the election commission to cancel this farcical election immediately and also to declare new schedule for holding a free, fair and credible election.”