The Bangladesh Nationalist on Sunday decided to boycott the by-elections to Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 parliamentary constituencies scheduled for July 14 saying that holding any election amid the COVID-19 outbreak was unacceptable.
The party standing committee made the decision at a virtual meeting on Sunday night, said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
‘We don’t think the polls schedule is a time-befitting one as several thousand people are being infected with the novel coronavirus and many people are dying every day. Voting is not acceptable at a time when the government is talking about social distancing and maintaining all health hygiene rules,’ he said.
He also said that the Election Commission’s decision to hold the by-elections during the growing coronavirus transmission was politically motivated. ‘That’s why it’s not possible for us to participate in the by-elections.’
Fakhrul said that they joined other elections in the past, but the prevailing COVID-19 situation forced them to boycott the two upcoming by-elections.
Earlier on Saturday, the Election Commission decided to hold the by-elections to the Bogura-1 and the Jashore-6 constituencies on 14 July though there was no visible sign of improvement in the COVID-19 situation.
The by-elections were salted for March 29, but those were postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
The commission said it had no option but to take such a decision as there was a constitutional binding to hold by-elections within 180 days after the vacancy of any constituency.
Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 constituencies fell vacant following the deaths of ruling Awami League lawmakers Abdul Mannan on January 18 and Ismat Ara Sadique on January 21 respectively.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Politics