Dhaka, Jan 5: BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Tuesday demanded for holding national parliamentary elections immediately through dialogue for forming people’s government in the country.
“The incumbent government is illegal. They do not have people’s mandate. So, arrange national parliamentary elections under the neutral government,” Khaleda said while addressing a rally to mark January 5 general elections as ‘democracy killing day’ in front of party’s Nayapaltan headquarters in the city.
The ruling Awami League is trying to establish monarchy in the country by killing people, she said, adding, “You had made immense efforts before (to kill democracy). Once before, you tried to establish a one-party rule. Now you are trying it again.”
Khaleda Zia 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,” she said.
She also blamed the government for enforced disappearance of the party leaders and activists. “Return to the path of democracy by stopping ongoing abduction, killing and enforced disappearances,”she asked the government.
Criticizing the Election Commission (EC) for its failure to hold impartial elections, she said the commission and the government have destroyed the country’s democracy and constitutional institutions.
She demanded resignation of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed. “Why the CEC still holds the office,” she questioned?
Khaleda also cited several instances of irregularities in elections and said no fair and impartial election can be held under the Awami League government.
Khaleda Zia also asked the incumbent government not to formulate any anti-people law. “The incumbent government is formulating several laws for harassing common people of the country,” she said.
Khaleda further alleged that the government was enacting new laws ‘to trap’ BNP leaders and activists.
She said, “the people can never be dominated. The people never accept laws that do not favour them.”
Referring to the victory of BNP-backed mayoral candidates in several city corporation elections from 2019 to 2013, Khaleda said, “BNP candidates win elections if they are fair. But no election under the Awami League government will be fair.”
She reiterated her party’s demand for a snap election under a non-party caretaker administration.
The BNP and its political allies had enforced agitations for over three months early last year, marking the first anniversary of the January 4 polls, demanding a rerun of the election under a caretaker government.
Over a hundred people were killed during the violent agitations.
Khaleda told the Tuesday rally, “They (Awami League) are clinging to power by using force. Now it is their responsibility to hold a fresh election.”
She alleged that the government was using law enforcers to harass and torture ‘opposition’ leaders.
“Brothers from law enforcing agencies are here. I wish to tell them they (who are being tortured) are the sons of Bangladesh. Should they be subjected to tortures, sufferings, enforced disappearances and murders?,” Khaleda said.
“You are being engaged in misdeeds. I’m not meaning that police are bad. But you are being spoiled (by the government),” she added.
The BNP chief said, “We all want to live together. Bangladesh is a small country. We can develop Bangladesh as a nice country if we work together.”