B'desh opposition to publish White Paper on elections
Dhaka: The opposition alliance in Bangladesh claims to have enough evidence to publish a ‘White Paper’ challenging the fairness of the elections it lost in December.
In doing so, the opposition alliance is taking the same path taken by the ruling coalition after it lost the 2001 ballot.
Salahuddin Qader Choudhury of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) said his party and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami have initiated steps to publish the evidence of rigging in the December 29 Parliamentary Election.
Both the parties said they had formed teams to collect information and documents to prepare the ‘White Paper’, The Daily Star said on Sunday.
"A team has recorded testimonies of 12 government officials who were engaged in printing and distribution of ballot papers," Choudhury told the newspaper.
On the basis of the testimonies, they found that the turnout in the polls was shown 87 percent "through a mechanism of election engineering", he said.
"The report will reveal how the election was rigged," said Choudhury, who was an adviser to former prime minister Khaleda Zia.
BNP won 29 seats in the election. Its alliance partner Jamaat got two.
Sheikh Hasina's Awami League and its allies swept the poll with two-thirds majority.
Charges of poll fraud followed by boycott of parliament are routine in Bangladesh.
The Zia-led alliance has not resorted to a blanket boycott but its members attend Parliament intermittently.