Calling 2018 National Election ‘fair’ in the morning, BNP changed its tune in the evening: Sajeeb Wazed

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Published on May 21, 2023
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Describing the national election in 2018 as “fair and participatory” – while speaking to the media – in the morning on election day, BNP changed its tune in the evening as results were coming in, Sajeeb Wazed, ICT Adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, has said.

Posting a compilation of news clips on his verified Facebook page on Friday (May 19, 2023) night, Sajeeb Wazed highlighted remarks made by BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain when voting started on election day in 2018, and how they “changed tune” later in the day – blaming the government for “their own failures.”

The video posted by Sajeeb Wazed, who is also the chairman of Center for Research and Information (CRI), shows news clips featuring Dr. Kamal and Mirza Fakhrul, saying on national election day in 2018, that voting was being held “in a fair manner.” BNP leaders expressed satisfaction about the voter turnout as well, but when counting of votes began in the evening, they changed their position and announced boycott of the polls, the video says.

In the video, Dr. Kamal is heard saying, “I find it encouraging that so many people have turned up to vote on this cold winter morning. Where I voted, voting seemed fair, but after seeing the results, we will decide whether to accept the results of the election or not.”

BNP and its allies decided to boycott the election after losing by big margins, the video said, adding that since then, the party has failed to provide evidence to support its claim of irregularities in the 2018 national election. BNP-Jamaat and their allies continue to make allegations of “night vote” in discussions and talk shows but they never present proof validating their claim, the video posted by Sajeeb Wazed says.

The video also mentions reports of Jamaat-e-Islami opening fire to capture a voting center in Banshkhali, Chattogram, during the 2018 election. An attempt was made to capture a center in Noakhali too, and BNP men carried out the attack, it says. An Ansar member was killed in Kushtia during the election, the video says.

The video also says there have been allegations in several media reports that BNP candidates did not get enough support from the center in the 2018 national election.

In his post, with the video, Sajeeb Wazed wrote, “The leaders of BNP and Oikya Front lost the election by a huge margin. In the anti-Awami League media, a group is trying relentlessly to establish the 'night vote' theory. So far, they have not been able to present any specific evidence to support their claim. Representatives of international observer groups termed the election ‘fair.’ BNP itself is the reason for its defeat.”