Claims of election wrongdoing and voter fraud are common across the world. Parties that lose general elections repeatedly make allegations of voter fraud.
Even in the US, President Donald Trump has clung to notions of widespread vote rigging saying it allowed Joe Biden to steal the election.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda said this on Wednesday during a meeting on the upcoming Savar municipality polls held at the Upazila Parishad conference centre on Wednesday.
“This is the norm in our country for the losing party to make claims of vote rigging. If the Awami League lost, they would complain of election fraud, too.” Nurul Huda said.
Saying that no one is getting cheated at the ballot box in Bangladesh now, Huda called upon all parties to have faith in him.
“All the municipal polls are being held in a free and fair manner,” the CEC continued.
Also read: Number of voters now 10.98 cr: CEC
Bangladesh has met all the three criteria for graduating out of least developed country (LDC) status, and is waiting for the meeting of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development (UNCPD) to confirm that, according to Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal.
The UNCPD will sit in its second meeting in February to assess Bangladesh’s progress on graduation out of LDC, he said, adding that the government is hopeful of the country’s successful passage. This will be the second meeting of the commission. The first one was held in 2018.
Kamal made these remarks while talking to reporters after the virtual meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase on Wednesday.
Kamal said the three issues that the UNCPD will evaluate are economic vulnerability index (EVI), human asset index (HAI) and the per capita income.
“We have fulfilled the requirements as our point for EVI is 27.3 against required 32, a little short of target, while HAI is 75 points against the required 66 points and our per capita income is $1640 against the required $1210,” he said.
The Finance Minister said the government is hopeful of coming out of the LDC and entering the next level of development.
If we succeed, we will dedicate our success to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and also to the 3 million martyred who sacrificed their lives, 200,000 women who lost honor for the cause of independence, he said.
He noted that this will be a historic moment for the nation in the year when the nation will celebrate 50 years anniversary and also the birth centenary of Father of the Nation, who dreamt of economic emancipation.
“We have nothing to do for them but to pray to almighty for peace of their departed souls. But through dedicating the achievement we can get relieved of the debt made to our great people,” he said.
Shehzad Munim, Managing Director of British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB), has been elected the new president of St Joseph Old Boys' Foundation.
The new executive committee of St Joseph Old Boys' Foundation was announced recently. The Foundation, which is the alumni association of St Joseph Higher Secondary School and College, announced the committee during its annual general meeting held at the school premises.
Md Tariqul Islam – Chief HR and Corporate Communications Officer at Confidence Group – was elected the vice president. Kazi M Hassan – Chief Business Officer at Grameenphone – was elected the general secretary, and Nazmuddin Ahmed – Relationship Manager at BRAC Bank – was appointed the treasurer.
Executive committee members for the term of 2021-22 are— Iqbal Husain, CEO of BanglaTrac Limited, Sheikh Shabab Ahmed, Head of External Affairs BAT Bangladesh, Golam Mohammad Raihan, Head of Activation, BAT Bangladesh, Ashique Mahmood Adnan, faculty member, ULAB Bangladesh; Imtiaz Chowdhury, Research Director, Crystal Research; Shareq Rauf Chowdhury, Principal Architect, URBECO Consultants Ltd, and Mahdi Al Ameen, Senior Manager, Evaly.
Syed Almas Kabir, President of BASIS, conducted the election.
The new executive committee expressed hope that it will play an important role in the overall development of the school and college. The Foundation will work as an instrumental networking channel for school alumni.
The officer-in-charge (OC) of Faridpur’s Saltha Police Station has been withdrawn for “beating up” and “verbally abusing” a freedom fighter.
The OC, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was withdrawn from the police station and shifted to Faridpur Police Lines on Wednesday, Md Alimuzzaman, superintendent of police in Faridpur, said.
Also read: Attack on UNO Wahida: Ghoraghat OC withdrawn
“No evidence showed that the OC had physically assaulted the freedom fighter. However, he was withdrawn considering the local situation,” Alimuzzaman said.
OC Mohammad Ali “assaulted” freedom fighter Mosharraf Hossain while he was trying to stop a clash between two groups in Khalishapatti village on Friday.
The freedom fighters held a protest rally at the upazila’s Muktijoddha Complex the next day and gave a 24-hour ultimatum to withdraw the OC.
Police sources said a three-member probe committee, headed by Additional Superintendent of Police (Administration and Crime) Jamal Pasha, was formed over the issue.
The committee submitted its report to SP Alimuzzaman on Tuesday night.
Bangladesh has strongly protested against "baseless remarks and falsification" by US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo tagging Bangladesh with terrorist group al-Qaeda.
In his recent statement, Pompeo mentioned Bangladesh as a place where the terrorist group al-Qaeda carried out attacks, falsely apprehending similar terrorist attacks in future.
"Such irresponsible comment by a senior leader is very unfortunate and unacceptable," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a protest note on Wednesday.
Bangladesh strongly rejected this kind of "baseless remarks and falsification", it said, pointing out that there is no evidence of any presence of al-Qaeda in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh, under the bold leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, maintains a “zero-tolerance” policy against all forms of terrorism and violent extremism, and has been undertaking all possible measures and actions to address the menace, MoFA said.
"Our track record in countering terrorism has earned us global appreciation," it said.
In line with the commitment to countering terrorism, Bangladesh has become a party to all 14 international counter-terrorism conventions and are actively involved with international ‘preventive’ initiatives to counter terrorism.
"Bangladesh considers that the US Secretary of State’s referring to Bangladesh as a possible location for al-Qaeda operations, is indeed unfounded and offers no evidence," MoFA said.
If any such claim could be substantiated with evidence, the government of Bangladesh would be happy to take necessary measures against such activities, Dhaka said.
"However, if such a statement is made out of speculation, Bangladesh considers it very unfortunate, specially in the context of the ever-growing bilateral ties between the two friendly countries based on shared values, peace and common goals," reads the statement issued by MoFA.