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The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) yesterday iterated its demand to hold a fresh election under a non-partisan government. BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir made the demand while speaking at a human chain programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club, four hours before the beginning of the inaugural session of the 11th Parliament. - A home for your website

“We rejected the poll results immediately after the election and demanded re-election under a non-partisan government to form a government with people’s mandate. Today (Wednesday) we iterate the demand,” he said.

He said the December 30 polls have to be cancelled immediately to hold a fresh election under a neutral Election Commission (EC) and non-partisan government so that people can exercise their voting rights.

Terming the new Parliament as occupied, the BNP leader said the AL formed the government taking away all rights of the people by destroying all democratic institutions, using the state machinery and resorting to state terrorism to introduce one-party rule.

“It (AL) had established one-party BAKSAL in 1975 by destroying democracy. This time, it once again occupied Parliament and formed the government in the same way,” he added. The AL-led Grand Alliance swept the 11th parliamentary election with 289 seats out of 300 and formed the government, while the BNP and its partner Ganoforum got only eight seats and rejected the poll results, alleging “vote engineering.”

The BNP and its allies in the 20-Party Alliance and the Jatiya Oikyafront also decided not to take oath and join Parliament that had its inaugural session yesterday afternoon.

The BNP organised the one-hour human chain programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club from 11:00am. Leaders and activists of the BNP and it frontal organisations took part in the programme.

Demanding release of party chairperson Khaleda Zia, Fakhrul alleged that she has been sent to jail in a false case one year ahead of the election and Tarique Rahman has been kept in exile by being implicated in a false case.

Speaking at the programme, BNP standing committee member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said the December 30 elections proved that no polls can be held in a free and fair manner under a political government.

“The polls proved that the BNP did the right thing by boycotting the previous election. It is clear that no election under Sheikh Hasina can be held in a fair manner. The global community has rejected the elections. They said this was not an election,” he claimed.

The elderly leader said the BNP would publish a “white paper” on the allegations of rigging and irregularities during the election. Barrister Moudud Ahmed said they were too shocked to say anything. “We did not expect an election of the kind we witnessed,” he added.

Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Selima Rahman, Abdus Salam, Imran Saleh Prince, Habibul Islam Habib, Shirin Sultana, ABM Mosharraf Hossain, Shafiul Bari Babu, among others, addressed the event. Shahiduddin Chowdhury Annie and Abdus Salam Azad jointly conducted the meeting.