Bangladesh opposition demands chief election official quit


DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh’s main opposition alliance on Tuesday demanded the resignation of the chief election commissioner, accusing him of bias, ahead of Sunday’s elections while violence worsens, officials and news reports said.

Opposition spokesman Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said Tuesday night that they demanded the resignation of K.M.Nurul Huda as they did not expect a free and fair election under him. He urged the country’s figurehead president to appoint a neutral person instead.

Alamgir, who is the secretary general of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, told a news conference they made the call after senior leaders from an anti-government alliance walked out of a meeting with Huda.

He said a meeting between opposition leaders and election officials failed after the opposition alliance noted instances of attacks since campaigning started Dec. 10.

“But without paying heed to our allegations, the chief election commissioner talked in a biased and discourteous way that made us frustrated and shocked,” he said. “It is impossible to get neutral behavior let alone expecting a free, fair and neutral election under him.”

Was it Rigged? You'll Never Believe Who Beat Keanu Reeves and Tom Cruise For 2023's 'Best Action Star'

Election officials refused to speak to media about the meeting details.

Official and media tallies say more than 100 people, mostly from the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, were injured in political violence Tuesday.

Supporters of the ruling Awami League and the opposition parties clashed in Dhaka, Cox’s Bazar, Mymensingh, Chittagong and Sylhet districts, leading English-language Daily Star newspaper and domestic Jamuna Television reported.

Daily Star also said some 250 opposition supporters have been arrested since Monday night.

At least six people have been killed and more than 1000 have been injured since Dec. 10. Both opposition and ruling party blame each other for attacks, but media reports say most attacks were executed by the ruling party members and often backed by security officials.

On Monday, authorities deployed thousands of army soldiers across the country to work as a striking force for holding the election.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is seeking to return to power for a third consecutive time amid opposition allegations that the elections could be rigged. Authorities have pledged a free and fair election.

The country’s 11th general election is going to happen amid opposition allegations that thousands of its leaders and activists have been arrested to weaken them. But authorities say the arrests are not politically motivated and the opposition is trying to create chaos ahead of elections.

Earlier this month, New York-based Human Rights Watch urged the international community to press the Bangladesh government to create conditions for a free and fair election.

Penalties Announced for NBA Players Involved in Scuffle: Suspensions Enacted and Salaries Docked More Than $100K Each

The group criticized Bangladeshi security forces for “arresting and intimidating opposition figures and threatening freedom of expression ahead of the election.”

Zia’s party is the main partner of the newly formed anti-government alliance Oikyafront that has thrown a challenge to the incumbent government of Hasina. Kamal Hossain, a prominent lawyer and a former foreign minister, is leading the alliance after Zia was disqualified by a court because she is serving prison terms for corruption.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City