Recently held eleventh parliamentary election has set a worst example in the electoral history of the country where the election commission, law enforcers, civil administration all joined hand to work for the Awami League, the leftists alleged.
As many as 82 candidates of Left Democratic Alliance (LDA) who contested the 30 December election shared such views in a public hearing held at the National Press Club on Friday.
Terming the election farcical, the speakers demanded the cancellation of the eleventh parliament and fresh polls under a neutral caretaker government.
LDA, a platform of eight left-leaning organisations fielded 147 candidates in 131 constituencies.
“The ballot boxes were stuffed by 30 to 50 per cent votes the night before the election. We went to cast vote around 9:00am but found the boxes stuffed with votes although there was no voters visible in the center," Zonayed Saki, LDA candidate from the Dhaka-12 conistituency.
Saki termed the election most tainted one in the country’s history.
Candidate for Dhaka-8 conistituency, Shampa Basu also had the similar experience.
She said she found that a ballot box was fully stuffed with ballot papers in the morning at Segunbagicha High School vote center.
“Filling up a ballot box requires 1500 ballot papers. Polling officer said around 100 votes was casted by then, still the box was full. It proves that the ballot box was stuffed before,” Shampa said.
CPB leader Kazi Sazzad Zahir Chandan, who contested from Narshingdi-4 constituency, said that a presiding officer of his constituency confessed that the administration had ordered 35 per cent of votes be casted the night before election.
But AL put pressure to increase it to 45 per cent, Sazzad said.
“The Awami League won the polls on the 29 December night. The voters were defeated, deceived on 30 December,” CPB candidate from Bagerhat-2 consituency Sharifuzzaman said.
He alleged a presiding officer was harassed when he refused to carry out irregularity as per a police official’s wish.
Candidate for Dhaka-16 constituency, Naima Khaled said, “Polling agents were forced out in the morning in Islamia High School center. Polling officials were found taking lunch at Nahar Academy center in presence of a magistrate.”
In Dhaka Model Preparatory School polling center, she complained, AL men were examining every ballot and tearing apart the ballots before the voters who did not vote AL candidate.
Most of the allegations of the candidates were identical stories of barring the opposition candidates from campaigning, intimidating them, stuffing ballots the night before, using law enforcers and administration to make the electoral process a farce.
Presiding over the session, CPB secretary Md Shah Alam said, “The mega project of fake voting was implemented by police, Rapid Action Battalion, intelligence and administration.”
CPB president Mujahidul Islam Selim, Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal general secretary Khalequzzaman, Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh’s general secretary Saiful Haque, Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (Marxist) secretary Mubinul Haider Chowdhury, CPB central coordinator Ruhin Hossain Prince and Ganatantrik Biplabi Party secretary Moshrefa Mishu, among others, were present at the programme.