We kept our promises: Gowher Rizvi tells foreign observers after polls

The Bangladesh government has kept its promise of organising a ‘participatory’ general election, Gowher Rizvi has told international polls observers.  

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 30 Dec 2018, 01:52 PM
Updated : 30 Dec 2018, 05:00 PM

“I am pleased because we kept the promises we made,” said the prime minister’s international affairs adviser at a post-election briefing in Dhaka’s Hotel Sonargaon on Sunday evening.

The first promise was to make it “fully participatory,” he said. He added that all 39 political parties registered with the Election Commission have contested in the election.

Gowher also told the observers that the government has ensured safe access to voting for all. “This was our second promise.”

The third, he said, was to ensure a “very calm” environment for election.

But the opposition alliance, the Jatiya Oikya Front, has rejected the results as ‘farcical’ and urged the Election Commission to immediately cancel the outcome of Sunday’s election.

Oikya front chief Dr Kamal Hossain and BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir have demanded fresh polls under a “neutral body”.      

According to the foreign ministry, 174 foreign observers, 65 foreign journalists representing different countries and organisations have monitored the election, in addition to 25,900 local observers from 81 organisations and 7,000 to 8,000 local media personnel.

The prime minister’s adviser said there were reports of violence in “only 14 places”. “I am saying only because if you compare with the past, it’s not even a fraction.”

Eighteen people have lost their lives to poll violence, said the prime minister’s adviser.

Of them, 12 were from the Awami League, three from the BNP, one from Chhatra Sena, one personnel of Ansar and one bystander, he said.    

Indian observers after the elections said they have witnessed “calm, serene ambiance” in Bangladesh elections.

Earlier, Canadian observer Tania Foster said “everyone is getting access to their polling station and is able to cast their ballot and all of the officers and officials are doing a great job in maintaining order.”

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
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