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Fakhrul to Govt: Release Khaleda, reconstitute EC if you want BNP to join polls

  • Published at 12:08 am May 30th, 2018
File photo of BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir Dhaka Tribune

BNP Standing Committee member Mirza Abbas urged their party activists to prepare for taking to the streets to have Khaleda released from jail

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir says their party will not join the next polls if their chairperson, Khaleda Zia, is not released from jail and the Election Commission is not reconstituted.

"We would like to clearly say a neutral Election Commission must be formed annulling the current one; or else there will be no election," he said.

Speaking at a discussion program yesterday, the BNP second-in-command further said: "Our party's position is very clear that we won't join any election without our leader, Khaleda Zia. No election will be held unless she's released."

He also demanded the resignation of the prime minister, dissolution of parliament before the polls, and the deployment of the army during the elections.

BNP organized the discussion at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh, marking BNP founder and late president Ziaur Rahman's 37th death anniversary.

The current Election Commission has no capacity to hold a credible, fair election, as it has been “acting as per the government's orders,” Fakhrul alleged.

He called upon all political parties and social organizations to forge a national unity to establish a pro-people government by ousting the current “autocratic regime.”

About the killing of people in “shootouts” in the ongoing anti-narcotics drive, he said the government is killing people like birds with the country under the rule of an individual. "All the basic rights of people, including the right to live, have been snatched away."

He said the government, having failed to control drugs, has opted to take this dangerous, unlawful way of killing people on the pretext of anti-narcotics drives.

Fakhrul urged BNP leaders and activists to take a vow on Zia's death anniversary to wage a strong movement by mobilizing public support to free Khaleda from jail, and to “restore democracy and people's rights”.

BNP Standing Committee member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said it is not possible to have Khaleda released from jail through legal procedures as the courts concerned have been unnecessarily buying time in giving her bail for “false” cases filed against her.

"We must free her [Khaleda] from jail by ensuring the fall of this current regime. People will come up with the action programs, which are necessary to oust the autocratic government. We must get ready for it," he added.

Another Standing Committee member, Barrister Moudud Ahmed, said their party needs to focus on three issues – freeing Khaleda from jail, uniting all democracy-loving people and parties, and waging a mass movement involving all parties – to get rid of the “current one-party rule.”

He said the government will surely be forced to hold the next elections under a non-party impartial government if a strong movement can be waged against it.

Moudud said the BNP must make strong efforts to bring those political parties that are outside the 20-party alliance into its fold by making a good sacrifice, if necessary.

The party’s Standing Committee member, Mirza Abbas, urged their party leaders and activists to prepare for taking to the streets to have Khaleda released from jail.

Another Standing Committee member, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, said that participating in the elections under Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina is tantamount to committing suicide.

"So, we won't allow the government to hold the elections without installing a non-party government."