Bangladesh election chief rules out holding fresh elections as Opposition alleges ballot stuffing after Sheikh Hasina's win

Bangladesh's election chief on Monday ruled out any scope of holding a fresh election as demanded by opposition alliance, saying the allegations of ballot stuffing on the night before the election is 'completely untrue.'

Press Trust of India December 31, 2018 18:47:55 IST
Bangladesh election chief rules out holding fresh elections as Opposition alleges ballot stuffing after Sheikh Hasina's win

Dhaka: Bangladesh's election chief on Monday ruled out any scope of holding a fresh election as demanded by opposition alliance, saying the allegations of ballot stuffing on the night before the election is "completely untrue."

Bangladesh election chief rules out holding fresh elections as Opposition alleges ballot stuffing after Sheikh Hasinas win

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina flashes a victory sign as she speaks to the media persons after casting her vote in Dhaka. AP

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling alliance swept to a landslide victory in the elections. The opposition Jatiya Oikya Front - National Unity Front (NUF) - rejected the results and urged the Election Commission to immediately scrap the "farcical election" and hold a fresh one under a non-partisan interim government. "We are not going to hold a new election. There is no scope to hold the national election again," Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda told the media Monday, a day after the 11th parliamentary election was held.

Rejecting the allegation of ballot stuffing on the night before the election, Huda said: "It is completely untrue." NUF chief and veteran lawyer Kamal Hossain called the polls a "farce", citing widespread polling frauds. "We have reports that fraudulence took place in almost all centres...You (the EC) must cancel this election right away. We reject the so-called results and demand a new election under a neutral government," Hossain said. Jailed ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, who steered the party in the absence of Zia, described the polls as a "cruel farce".

However, the election commissioner expressed complete satisfaction over the election and said the voter turnout in the polls was 80 percent. Huda said the election took place with a festive atmosphere but there may have some unfortunate incidents during the voting and the commission will investigate the incidents, the Daily Star newspaper reported. The CEC said he had not received written complaints about the vote. He said that the allegations would not prevent him from releasing the gazette of the results, the Bdnews24.com reported. Asked what steps would be taken on the gazette if written complaints from the BNP came in, he said: "Even if we receive written complaints, it does not prevent us from issuing a gazette of the results." The results reflect the beliefs of the people, Huda said, adding that the media reports, as well as local and foreign election observers, have described the polls as acceptable.

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