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Oikya Front leaders walk out on CEC citing 'inappropriate behaviour'

  • Published at 01:48 pm December 25th, 2018
Leaders of Jatiya Oikya Front in a meeting with CEC on Tuesday; December 25, 2018 Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

Earlier the coalition went to the commission to talk about the attacks on their men

Jatiya Oikya Front leaders have walked out of a meeting with the chief election commissioner (CEC) citing “inappropriate behaviour.” 

The leaders have claimed that CEC KM Nurul Huda did not treat them with “courtesy.” 

“We have walked out of the meeting as the CEC was not courteous to us,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir; at a press briefing at the commission’s Agargaron office in Dhaka on Tuesday.

He also said they went there to inform the commission about the attacks on their activists across Bangladesh. “But the CEC’s behaviour has made us speechless.”

Fakhrul said Awami League does not want BNP’s participation in the December 30 general election but they will not boycott the polls.

Earlier in the day, a 10-member Oikya Front delegation, led by its chief Dr Kamal Hossain, had called on the CEC.

Another BNP leader, Nazrul Islam Khan, said: “When we told the CEC about police harassment, he took the side of the police instead of being sympathetic. That is why we had to walk out of the meeting.”

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir speaks to the media during a press briefing at the Election Commission’s Agargaron office in Dhaka on Tuesday, December 25, 2018 | Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

While narrating what occurred at the meeting, alliance leader and Gonoshasthaya Kendra Founder Zafrullah Chowdhury said Dr Kamal told the CEC that “savage and stick-wielding” police are not allowing their candidates to campaign for the polls, slated for Sunday.

“Police have asked us to use the loudspeaker after 2pm and candidates of the Awami League-led Grand Alliance are campaigning aided by police,” Zafrullah quoted Kamal as saying.

Dr Kamal said police and Awami League goons were carrying out attacks on their activists.

The CEC got angry at Dr Kamal. “What do you think of yourself?,” the CEC asked Dr Kamal. 

BNP leader Abdul Moyeen Khan then told the CEC to let them know if the commission would be able to create a congenial atmosphere for the election.

“If not, we will hold a press conference today [Tuesday] at the National Press Club to announce that we are boycotting the election,” he said.