Bangladesh: Results of the 15 February 1996 election in Sylhet, including the number of MPs elected, their names and party affiliations, the names of the unsuccessful candidates and their party affiliations, and the number of votes polled by each candidate
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 March 1999|
|Citation / Document Symbol||BGD31294.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Bangladesh: Results of the 15 February 1996 election in Sylhet, including the number of MPs elected, their names and party affiliations, the names of the unsuccessful candidates and their party affiliations, and the number of votes polled by each candidate, 1 March 1999, BGD31294.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ac7822.html [accessed 31 October 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The Research Directorate was unable to obtain election results for the 15 February 1996 general elections in Bangladesh.
A late January 1996 Reuters article reported that
Mystery surround Bangladesh's parliamentary elections on February 15 because many of the candidates have never been heard of before, much less the platforms they represent.
Bangladeshis won't be spoiled for choice, despite a boycott of the poll by main opposition groups. Nearly 50 obscure political groups, many of them small and with little-known backing, will be vying for votes along with the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), election officials said on Friday.
Among the choices will be self-confessed killers, a leader of a jobless party and a one-man party which vows to rid the nation of women politicians.
Of the more than 1,500 contestants , only 300 are from the ruling BNP.
Media sources reported that the majority of the 300 contested seats in the 15 February 1996 general elections were won by default by the then-ruling BNP (Xinhua 17 Mar. 1996; Reuters 9 Apr. 1996; The Christian Science Monitor 20 Feb. 1996; ibid. 12 June 1996) because the opposition parties, which called for the formation of a neutral caretaker government as a prerequisite for the elections, boycotted them (ibid. 20 Feb. 1996; Xinhua 9 Feb. 1996). The elections were fraught with violence, ballot-stuffing, allegations of fraud, and poor participation (Reuters 9 Apr. 1996; Xinhua 9 Feb. 1996; The Christian Science Monitor 20 Feb. 1996; AFP 17 Feb. 1996) and were not viewed by the Fair Election Monitoring Alliance (FEMA) as free and fair (ibid.).
On 7 March 1996 the nominees for the 30 reserved seats for women, all nominated by the BNP, were "declared elected unopposed" because there were no other contestants (Xinhua 17 Mar. 1996).
Parliament was dissolved and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia of the BNP stepped down on 30 March 1996 and a caretaker government was established to oversee the next elections that were held on 12 June 1996 (AFP 28 Apr. 1996; Reuters 9 Apr. 1996; The Christian Science Monitor 12 June 1996).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Agence France Presse (AFP). 28 April 1996. Nadeem Qadir. "Bangladesh Polls Put Political Parties' Survival at Stake." (NEXIS)
_____. 17 February 1996. Nadeem Qadir. "Independent Watchdog Says Bangladesh Elections Flawed." (NEXIS)
The Christian Science Monitor [Boston]. 12 June 1996.John Zubrzycki, "Bangladeshis Hope Vote Settles Rivalry of Two Strong Women." (NEXIS)
_____. 20 February 1996. John Zubrzycki. "A Pyrrhic Victory? Bangladesh Poll Brings More of a Violent Deadlock." (NEXIS)
Reuters. 9 April 1996. BC Cycle. "Three Die as Bangladesh Election Campaign Starts." (NEXIS)
_____. 26 January 1996. BC Cycle. Anis Ahmed. "Mystery Candidates Shroud Bangladesh Election." (NEXIS)
Xinhua. 17 March 1996. "30 Women Elected to Reserved Seats in Parliament of Bangladesh." (NEXIS)
_____. 9 February 1996. Jiang Xianming. "Violence Prevailing in Bangladesh." (NEXIS)
Additional Sources Consulted
ASK/BLAST/Odhikar, Dhaka. 1997. Human Rights in Bangladesh 1996.
Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics. January 1997. Statistical Pocketbook of Bangladesh 1996.
Electronic sources: Internet, IRB Databases, WNC.
Unsuccessful attempts to contact one oral source.