people’s voting rights
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said her government has been taking all necessary measures to protect the people’s voting rights. “The people of this country will enjoy all sorts of their rights. Their basic rights, voting rights and democratic rights will remain ensured. It’s our only goal and we’ve been working for this,” she said. The premier was addressing the oath-taking ceremony of the newly elected mayor and councillors of Comilla City Corporation in the city’s Osmani Smriti Auditorium through a video conference from her official residence Ganobhaban. She said the government wants the socio-economic development of Bangladesh through maintaining the democratic environment. “It is our main goal and we’ve been working for it,” she added. Read: PM mulls area-based specific time power cuts to save fuel Hasina, also the president of Awami League, said her party has been striving for establishment of rights of the people since its formation. AL had been formed to protest against injustice, she added. About the recent Cumilla City election, she said the people could exercise their voting rights spontaneously in the very competitive election held amid festive atmosphere. “They had been able to make the candidates of their choice win with their votes here. I think it is an example in electoral history,” she added.
BNP’s planned talks with the opposition political parties began today (Tuesday) to work out the outline for launching a united movement to 'restore' democracy and people’s voting rights. On the first day, a BNP delegation, led by party Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, sat in talks with Nagorik Oikya at 5 pm at its Topkhana Road office. Also read: BNP to stage demonstrations Thursday protesting PM’s Padma Bridge remark on Khaleda Earlier in the day, Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced to start the dialogue at a press conference at the party chairperson’s Gulshan office. The BNP leader said their party’s standing committee took the decision at its virtual meeting on Monday night. “Our standing committee meeting decided to formally start talks with the political parties with the aim of forging a movement for the restoration of democracy. We’re initiating the talks today (Tuesday), Fakhrul said. He said they will talk to the political parties and finalise the outline of a united movement through the discussions. The BNP leader said they will sit with other opposition parties gradually after today’s meeting with Nagorik Oikya. Replying to a question, he said BNP will not hold talks with just its alliance partners but also with all other political parties. Asked whether they will hold a discussion with Jamaat-e-Islami, Fakhrul said they want to talk to every party, including Jamaat. Replying to another question about the existence of the 20-party alliance, he said they still did not abolish the 20-party alliance. “We’ll finalise the future course of the alliance e through the talks.” “The main objectives of the talks are to restore democracy and voting and other rights of people that the fascist government has snatched and to revive the economy and all the institutions of the country those have been destroyed by this regime,” the BNP leader said. Fakhrul said their dialogue is also meant for forging unity among the political parties to wage a movement for establishing people’s voting rights. He said they will also highlight their demands--the release of all political prisoners, including Khaleda Zia, the resignation of the current regime, handing over power to a non-partisan and neutral government, dissolution of parliament and then holding a free and fair election acceptable to all through the reconstituted Election Commission--during the talks with the political parties. “We’ll talk about the demands of other parties and thus finalise a set of united demands through the discussions. We’ll carry out a united movement based on those demands,” Fakhrul said. Responding to a question, he said they are not going to call their new political platform an alliance. “The format will be finalised through discussions.” Meanwhile, Fakhrul strongly protested and condemned the attacks on Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) by Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) in the capital’s Central Shaheed Minar area in the morning. He demanded the immediate arrest of those involved in the attack. Also read: BNP again seeks PM’s apology for Padma Bridge remark on Khaleda At least 35 people were injured in back-to-back clashes between activists of BCL and JCD on the Dhaka University campus. Fakhrul said their standing committee meeting expressed displeasure over the inadequacy of the government’s relief efforts in the flood-affected areas. Besides, party standing committee member Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku has been entrusted with responsibility for standing by the flood-hit people and carrying out relief efforts in Sylhet. Fakhrul urged leaders and activists of the BNP and its associate bodies in the greater Sylhet district to stand beside the flood victims.