The party will not participate in any elections under the Awami League government
The BNP has decided not to participate in the upcoming Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) mayoral by-election and the upazila elections, or any other elections in future, under the Awami League government.
Senior BNP leader Barrister Jamiruddin Sircar made the announcement after a meeting of the party’s Standing Committee Thursday evening.
“We have decided to stay away from the elections of Dhaka North City Corporation slated for February 28 and the upazila elections scheduled to start from early March,” he said. “We will not participate in any election under the current government.”
The BNP leaders will not contest the polls even as independent candidates, he added.
Later at night, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir formally announced the decision to the media at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office.
“Any election under the Awami League government cannot be free and fair. Therefore, our Standing Committee has decided not to contest these elections,” Fakhrul said.
The party also decided not to nominate any candidates for the by-election in Kishoreganj 1 and Gaibandha 3 parliamentary seats.
BNP leaders have unanimously agreed to boycott elections to focus on the issue of jailed party chief Khaleda Zia’s release, said BNP Joint Secretary General Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon, also one of Khaleda’s counsels.
Before the meeting, the BNP leaders sat with lawyers to discuss Khaleda’s release.
Another meeting between Khaleda’s defence team and the party top brass had been set on January 31.
Khokon further said Khaleda was not being released on bail due to “politically-motivated factors.”