Wednesday, October 4

Immediately arrange an inclusive national election: Khaleda



BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia today demanded the authorities to immediately arrange a parliamentary election under a nonpartisan government.

The Election Commission’s present responsibility is to immediately arrange an inclusive national election in a free, fair and impartial manner, she said.

The BNP also demanded talks among political parties for the sake of democracy.

“We want an end to the prevailing chaotic situation through discussions and to work together for the sake of de-mocracy,” she said adding the ruling Awami League is staying in power forcibly.

Citing several instances of election irregularities, the BNP chief alleged that the Awami League government wants to show its popularity by manipulating elections.

She also lambasted the Election Commission (EC) for its failure to hold impartial elections, saying the commis-sion and the government have destroyed the country’s democracy.

The BNP chief demanded resignation of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed. “Why the CEC still holds the office.”

She also criticised the EC for not deploying army in the election recently held municipality elections. “It has served the government’s purpose only.”

She also criticised the government for smashing the country’s economy.

The BNP chief blamed the government for enforced disappearance of the party leaders and activists.

She called upon the government to return to the path of democracy by “stopping ongoing abduction, killing and enforced disappearances”.

“Otherwise, you (govt) will not be able to stay in power,” she said.

The BNP chief came up with the remarks while addressing a rally in front of the party’s Nayapaltan central office in Dhaka this afternoon.

She said no election was held in the country on January 5, 2014 and so the incumbent government and the parliament are illegal.

All activities carried out by the government are also illegal, said the former prime minister who alternated to be premier and opposition leader in parliament from 1991 to 2013.

She started her address minutes after 4:00pm

The leaders and activists of the party’s Dhaka city unit started the rally at 2:00pm with BNP Standing Committee member Goyeshwar Chandra Roy in the chair, reports our correspondent from the spot.

Today’s rally will be the first public rally for Khaleda Zia in over a year. The BNP chief last addressed a public rally on December 13, 2014 at Kanchpur in Narayanganj as part of her party’s move to force the government for holding the last national election under a non-party administration.

Moreover, today’s rally will be her first public rally in front of the party’s Nayapaltan central office in the last four years.

Contacted, BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman said Khaleda Zia, in her speech, will focus on the one sided and controversial January 5 general election boycotted by most political parties.

The BNP chief will also call upon the government to hold a free, fair and inclusive general election as early as possible, Mahbubur Rahman said.

“But we will not go for any confrontational programme. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is expected to emphasise that BNP is a democratic party and believes in handover of power in peaceful manner,” the BNP leader added.

In last night’s meeting, the BNP chief’s advisers, BNP vice-chairmen and standing committee members, who attended the meeting, also expressed a similar view that BNP should resort to peaceful movement to press home their demands.

Khaleda Zia is scheduled to start for the rally around 2:00pm from her Gulshan residence, Sayrul Kabir Khan, a staff of BNP chief’s press wing, told The Daily Star.

Party leaders and activists have already started to gather at the rally spot stretching from Fakirapul to Nightingale intersection in the capital, Sayrul said.