As BNP-Jamaat conspiracy exposed, UN condemns January 22 elections

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Published on October 1, 2022
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The United Nations took a cautious stance after the nearly one-and-a-half crore fake voters and the BNP’s election conspiracy came to light. On January 22, 2007, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon vowed to cancel all technical assistance for the BNP-Jamaat monopoly elections. They also closed the office in Dhaka to observe the election. The European Union also announced not to monitor this rigged election.

The Prothom Alo published the report on January 12, 2007, citing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the European Union Commissioner for External Relations Dr Benita Ferrero Waldner. In addition, UN Resident Representative in Dhaka, Renata Lock issued a statement raising the question of deploying the army in the elections on January 22 and warning that Bangladesh's military role in UN peacekeeping missions might be affected.

Earlier, BNP-backed president Iajuddin Ahmed had illegally occupied the post of chief adviser to the caretaker government at the behest of Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman. He bypassed the Election Commissioner, unconstitutionally reshuffled the secretaries and changed the returning officers. According to the constitution, no one else has the authority to do these things except the Election Commission after the announcement of the election schedule.

Also, according to Tarique Rahman’s advice and Iajuddin’s orders, the police spread panic through mass arrests of Awami League supporters across the country. Moreover, one crore and 23 lakh fake voters were created to ensure the victory of BNP-Jamaat. But as it was exposed, the international community opposed this rigged and violent election. President Iajuddin Ahmed was forced to resign from the post of chief adviser on January 11.

In the meantime, Awami League and other parties voiced their demand for a voter list with pictures and fair voting in transparent ballot boxes. As a result, President Iajuddin made a statement admitting the issue of fake voters amid public pressure and the leak of the conspiracy before the international community. He said free and fair elections were not possible within 90 days with fake voters.