BNP on Tuesday described the government’s attempt to enact a law on the Election Commission formation ‘hurriedly’ and ‘secretly’ as mere a ‘blueprint’ to cling to power illegally.
“BNP thinks the current parliament has no moral authority to make such a law since it’s not legally elected by people,” said party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office, he also alleged that Awami League is trying to hold another ‘stage-managed’ election by deceiving people through covertly making the law.
In the current context of Bangladesh, the BNP leader said their party also thinks no election commission will be able to hold a free and fair election unless it is held under a neutral caretaker government. “This truth was established with the unilateral, voterless elections of midnight-vote robbery in 2014 and 2018.”
He said the resignation of the current illegitimate Awami League government, the handover of power to a neutral non-partisan government and holding a free, fair, credible and participatory election run by an election commission to be formed with people acceptable to all based on the opinions of all political parties are the only way to restore democracy in Bangladesh.
Fakhrul underscored the need for a united movement of all political parties, organisations and people to attain this goal.
On Sunday, Law Minister Anisul Haq placed the draft Bill, “Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners Bill-2022”, in parliament.
The bill is likely to be passed in the House on Thursday.
The press conference was arranged to inform the media about the outcomes of the virtual meeting of BNP’s standing committee, the highest policymaking body of the party.
It was Fakhrul’s first appearance before the media since he along with his wife tested positive for Covid-19 on January 10.
Fakhrul said the BNP standing committee meetings voiced concern over sending a letter to the UN by the 12 top international human rights bodies seeking a ban on Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) from UN deployment for its alleged involvement in torture, enforced disappearances, and other human rights violations.
“Our standing committee believes that the Awami League government has put Bangladesh at great risk by using state institutions, including RAB, for murder, enforced disappearance, and extrajudicial killings to stay in power illegally,” he said.
Fakhrul said they feared that it will have a negative impact on Bangladesh's security, stability and economy. “The government has to bear all the responsibilities for creating this situation.”
Expressing solidarity with the movement of the students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST), the BNP leader said the situation has become complicated due to the ‘authoritarian’ attitude of the university authorities and the government.
He demanded immediate removal of the officials concerned, including the vice chancellor, responsible for the commotion on the SUST campus.
The BNP leader also urged the government to launch an impartial investigation for bringing the members of the police and Bangladesh Chhatra League to justice for attacking the demonstrating students.
Fakhrul also expressed concern over reports of corruption by the education minister in the land acquisition process for setting up the proposed science and technology university in Chandpur.
He urged the government to inform people of the genuine information on the matter through a neutral investigation.
The BNP leader said their party standing committee meeting also voiced concern over the deferment of submission of probe report in the journalist couple Sagar-Runi murder case for the 85th time.
He said the government has an ill-motive behind not submitting the investigation report years after years in the case.