Food Minister Qamrul Islam has said that the 11th parliamentary elections will be held as per the constitution.
“The conditions placed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia…are unacceptable. We will not retreat one iota from the constitution.”
Qamrul made the remarks while addressing a discussion event organized by Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote at National Press Club in Dhaka on Sunday morning.
The polls, slated for December this year, will be held under the current administration, and the Election Commission (EC) will conduct it.
“We won’t consider who is participating in the election and who is not. The election schedule will not be changed either.”
Refuting BNP's allegation that lower courts are under the grip of the government, the minister said leaders and activists of the party are trying to create unrest centring on the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case against Khaleda.
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“The judiciary has always been independent during this government’s tenure. Delivering verdicts is a concern of the court, not of the government. But, BNP is trying to baffle the people by making unnecessary statements,” Qamrul said.
He also warned BNP leaders of stern actions if they try to resort to violence centring on the verdict.
On Saturday, when addressing the inaugural session of BNP’s national executive committee meeting at Hotel Le Méridien in Dhaka, party chief Khaleda Zia put forward six conditions for contesting the polls.
The conditions include formation of an impartial polls-time government, dissolving the current parliament before the election, and deployment of army during the election, ensuring a peaceful environment for voters, not using electronic voting machines in the polls, and ensuring neutrality and independence of the Election Commission.
The former prime minister called the meeting to issue fresh directives to party members about the BNP’s next course of action given the verdict and the upcoming polls.
Parts of this article were first published on banglatribune.com