Jatiya Party (JaPa) Chairman GM Quader has expressed concerns over the voting system ahead of the upcoming five city corporation polls. Speaking at the 40th founding anniversary of Jatiya Swechasebak Party at Jatiya Party Chairman’s Banani office, GM Quader raised doubts over the possibility of voters being able to cast their votes without facing any form of intimidation. The chairman also questioned the accuracy of vote counts and expressed concerns that the ruling Awami League may declare their preferred candidates as the winners. As the deputy leader of the opposition in parliament, he shared these concerns with the audience during the event.
Concerns over voter confidence
During the event, JaPa Chairman GM Quader, expressed his party’s desire to win all five city corporation elections, citing the acceptance among the people for their nominated candidates. However, while sharing his thoughts, Quader drew attention to the public’s diminishing trust in the voting system, which he attributed to the failure of those who advocate democracy and people’s rights to voting. He mentioned that people are losing faith in the political system and are worried about the potential consequences of casting their vote, such as physical attacks and intimidation. “People are tired and disappointed with politics, as they believe that regardless of their vote, the government supporters will always win,” Quader added, indicating the need for electoral reforms to restore people’s trust in the system.
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GM Quader expressed his party’s commitment to stand for the people in the upcoming national elections. He emphasized that Jatiya Party would work to establish the people’s right to vote and will prioritize the people’s wants in the parliamentary elections. He further highlighted the lack of democracy in the country and stated that all powers of the state were concentrated in the hands of one person. He urged the government to hold free and fair elections and emphasized that if they had done good work in the country, they should have no issues in conducting transparent elections. Overall, Quader’s message conveyed Jatiya Party’s commitment to promoting democratic values and ensuring that the will of the people is upheld in national elections.
Concerns over voting system
During a views exchange program with the central leaders of the Matshajibi Party earlier this year, GM Quader expressed his disapproval to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the general election. According to him, the people of the country did not trust EVMs and considered them tools for vote-rigging in the elections.
He further stated that Jatiya Party wants free and fair general elections and thus opposed the use of EVMs, while the ruling Awami League and some of their alliance partners were in favour of using them.
“We think that holding a free and fair election cannot be possible using EVMs,” Quader emphasised during the program, highlighting the need for electoral transparency and fairness.
Asks for unity to make the electoral system independent
In a recent statement earlier this month, GM Quader has called for an independent electoral system in Bangladesh, stressing the need for all political parties to unite to demand a free and transparent electoral system. He cited examples of neighbouring countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan and Pakistan, which have developed their electoral systems. Quader pointed out that whenever any party is in power during an election, it tries to control the election by making lame excuses of constitutional provisions, because those in power are afraid of being accountable to the people. On the other hand, when they have to leave power, they talk about the people’s will.
In previous conferences, Quader has also stated that the government should take initiatives to improve the election situation, and the JaPa would discuss and give proposals on behalf of the party if the government is willing to accept them. The Jatiya Party Chief said that the people want to see a third force apart from the Awami League and the BNP, and their party is committed to removing corruption, misrule, tender manipulation, politicisation, extortion, terrorism, and anarchy from the country. He believes that JaPa has achieved much more success in running the country than the Awami League and BNP, and the people of Bangladesh want to see Jatiya Party as an alternative force.
JaPa nominates mayoral candidates for five city polls
Meanwhile, JaPa has nominated its mayoral candidates for the upcoming elections in five city corporations of Bangladesh. The decision was made during a meeting with divisional leaders at JaPa’s Banani office in the capital. The mayoral candidates nominated by JaPa are MM Niaz Uddin for Gazipur City Corporation, Saiful Islam Swapan for Rajshahi City Corporation, Shafiqul Islam Madhu for Khulna City Corporation, Iqbal Hossain Taposh for Barishal City Corporation, and Nazrul Islam Babul for Sylhet City Corporation, according to a press release. The Election Commission has scheduled the elections on 25 May for Gazipur, 2 June for Rajshahi and Sylhet, and 12 June for Khulna and Barishal.
In conclusion, GM Quader’s concerns have highlighted the need for electoral reforms in the country. Quader has urged the government to hold free and fair elections and restore the trust of the public in the voting system. The upcoming city corporation elections are expected to be closely watched as they test the political environment in the country ahead of the upcoming national elections.