Abdul Moyeen Khan, a member of the BNP Standing Committee, lauded the public for answering the party’s call to boycott the ‘one-sided’ general election.

“Your TV cameras tell the story,” he said to the media on Sunday afternoon after hearing reports of the relatively low turnout for the polls.“You have seen hundreds of thousands of photos on social media… you can see photos of dogs basking in the sun in front of the polling centres… the centre I noted is the one at the Meradia Government Primary School in Dhaka city. This is the situation… the lion’s share of polling centres are free of voters.”

The people of the country and the entire world can see that the citizens of Bangladesh are boycotting the polls, he said.

“Today, I say to the people, not just from the BNP but on behalf of the 62 political parties boycotting these farcical polls – I salute you. And this is for one reason – the people of Bangladesh have never compromised on the issue of democracy, and they did not do so this time either.”

He said the party’s campaign to boycott the polls had ‘certainly been a success’.

“I want to be clear – our movement isn’t just about taking to the streets in force, as the Awami League has done. Many people told us you won’t be able to remove the Awami League with a peaceful movement because of their politics, their methods, their various activities… in the past 15 years, 100,000 fabricated cases have been filed against opposition leaders and activists, including 500,000 BNP leaders and activists, to disappear them. I ask one simple question – there are 200 countries in the world. Can you show me another case where such an incident has happened?”

The ruling Awami League thought that it would be able to sway several prominent BNP leaders to contest the polls, but only one defected, Khan said.

“They are playing out a fake drama… in 2014 they staged a production saying the BNP had become IS or the Taliban. But the truth is that it was propaganda to convince foreigners… and now the government has failed to do even that.”

He pointed to media reports from international media outlets, saying they made it clear that the government was only setting up dummy candidates to stage a fake election.