BNP on Saturday said the ongoing dialogue on the reconstitution of the Election Commission (EC) will turn out to be a pointless exercise since it is being done as part of the government’s various fresh tactics to cling to power again.
“The current government has again started resorting to various tactics to hang onto power. The President is holding talks…many political parties have already boycotted it saying clearly that it won’t bear fruits,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Speaking at a human-chain programme, he also said the current dialogue initiated by the President is pointless since the Election Commission has nothing to do to ensure credible voting if there is no impartial government in place during the election period.
The BNP leader said the government must completely free Khaleda Zia and hand over the power to a neutral government to ‘restore’ people’s voting rights and overcome the country’s political ‘crisis’.
Once the polls-time government is established, he said it will form an impartial EC to hold a credible national election. “This is our clear message and this is the only way to resolve the crisis.”
Nari O Shishu Odhikar Forum, a platform of BNP, arranged the programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club, demanding BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s treatment abroad.
President Abdul Hamid began talks with registered political parties over the formation of the new Election Commission on December 20.
The President has already invited 28 parties to join the talks at Bangabhaban. But BNP, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (BSD), Islami Andolon Bangladesh,Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rob) decided not to join the talks.
Fakhrul urged the political parties to get united for the ‘restoration’ of democracy and people’s voting rights in the country.
“I would like to call upon all political parties and politicians to unite for the greater interest of the country and bring back democracy and the rights of people. Let's establish a government of people and build a happy and prosperous Bangladesh of people,” he said.
Falling poverty line
Fakhrul alleged that the people of the entire country have become hostages to the Awami League while the ruling party men are making huge money and becoming richer.
“The Prime Minister, during her address to the nation, said Bangladesh has become a middle-income country during her rule…but the fact is that the common people have become poor and the poor have become poorer in these 13 years of her rule,” he said.
Besides, the BNP leader said, four crore people have become unemployed while nine crore ones have gone below the poverty line during the rule of the current government.
He said the Awami League leaders are making huge money by illegally taking various opportunities and scopes. “They’re now siphoning off their ill-gotten money abroad.”
Fakhrul said Khaleda Zia’s release and her treatment abroad is now a demand of the mass people of the country. “The government must accept it.”
He warned that the government will have to face dire consequences if it denies the mass demand of Khaleda's release and treatment abroad.
The BNP leader said they have been on a movement in a peaceful and disciplined manner for nearly two months demanding Khaleda’s release and her treatment abroad. “We had many rallies across the country and lakhs of people from those programmes raised slogans seeking her (Khaleda’s) release.”
He urged the government to take immediate steps for allowing Khaleda to go abroad for advanced treatment.
BNP standing committee members Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Selima Rahman, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna and Bangladesh Kalyan Party Chairman Maj Gen (retd) Syed Muhammad Ibrahim, among others, spoke at the programme.