‘There was no democracy between 1975 and 1977 in country’: CEC

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Dhaka, October 26: Chief election commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda on Thursday reiterated that BNP founder and late president Ziaur Rahman restored multiparty democracy in the country.“Yes, I still own my remarks about Ziaur Rahman who restored multiparty democracy in the country,” he said.

He added: “Ziaur Rahman restored multi-party democracy in the country. There was no democracy since 1975 in the country. I said Zia restored democracy and didn’t say that he introduced it.”

The CEC came up with the assertion in response to question if he still owns his Zia remarks at a press conference at the EC secretariat in Agargaon of the capital.

CEC was briefing newsmen about the recently held dialogue with political parties and other groups.

Asked if the AL sought clarification about his Zia remarks during its talks with the election commission, the CEC replied in the negative.

Asked whether he believes in what he said about Zia, he replied in the positive, saying, “I’ve said this based on information.”

“Multiparty democracy was restored through the general election of 1979 in which all political parties including Bangladesh Awami League took part,” he said.

CEC Huda insisted that he made the remarks neither to praise anyone nor to hurt anyone.

In response to another question on when a newsman asked who killed democracy in the country and when, Huda said, “No, no it’s not killing. Democracy didn’t exist from 1975 to 1977.”

At the election commission’s dialogue with the BNP on 16 October, Huda lauded the BNP.

He said Ziaur Rahman and also BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia for introducing new trends in running the state and a variety of development programmes.

On the day, Nurul Huda, who was appointed during the regime of this AL government, first came up with the statement that Zia restored democracy in the country and shortly after that pro-Awami League elements raised controversy over it.