Bangladesh strongly rejects the statement by six international CSOs regarding the recently held peaceful elections.

The Government of Bangladesh strongly rejects the biased and unjustified statement issued by six international civil society organizations regarding the recently held free, fair, credible and peaceful elections. The allegations raised in the statement are false and baseless. The preposterous calls for a fresh election do not commensurate with the acclamation poured on the Government by the international community for conducting free, fair, credible, and peaceful elections.

The 12th National Parliament election of Bangladesh was held on January 7 in a very free, fair, transparent, festive atmosphere and with the large participation of the people. A total of 1,534 candidates from 28 registered political parties and 436 independent candidates contested the elections. The voter turnout was as high as 70 percent in many rural constituencies. The national average turnout was 41.8 i.e. about 42 percent because of comparatively lower voter turnout in the city areas.

The Independent Electoral Commission conducted the elections very effectively and efficiently. Despite challenges due to the unleashing of violence by the BNP in the lead-up to the election, the polling day unfolded with an unprecedented level of peace, marked by only a few isolated incidents at a few polling centers. Many international election observers and journalists, who actively reported on the elections from the field, attested to this truth.

The members of the law enforcement agency responded to the incidents of violence that occurred in the run-up to the elections with restraint, proportionality, and in adherence to legal boundaries. There were no arrests on political grounds.  Those who hurled petrol bombs on people and vehicles, set people on fire, killed and injured people, and disrupted public life to subvert the elections were arrested under specific allegations. These measures were deemed necessary to uphold the rule of law and protect the rights of all citizens.

The joint statement is, therefore, misleading, one-sided, and unacceptable. It has been issued with an ulterior motive to encourage anti-democratic and anti-election forces that made their ill attempts to thwart the elections.

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