BNP on Tuesday opposed the formation of the next Election Commission (EC) through a search committee, saying that the government will only induct the people of its choice in the Commission through this process.
“They (govt) are now talking much about the formation of the Election Commission and the search committee. What’s he search committee? Following this system, you’ll constitute it (EC) with persons whoever you want,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
The BNP leader made the remarks while inaugurating a conference of representatives of the Jatiyatabadi Krishak Dal at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU).
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The present election commission will complete its five-year term in February 2022 and the next Commission will arrange the 12th parliamentary election to be held at the end of 2023.
On October 4, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a press conference said the new election commission will be constituted through a search committee to be formed by the President.
Fakhrul also slammed Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader for his remarks that Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder is suffering from “mental problems”.
“They (AL leaders) have become desperate and they’re making various comments against Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder as he has spoken the truth. They’re also saying he is mentally ill. But you (govt) are mentally ill,” he said.
The BNP leader said ruling party leaders are not coming to people as they have long been staying indoors and joining programmes virtually.
“You (AL leaders) don’t come out of your houses. You make many remarks, but we don’t see your leaders outside their homes. You’re doing everything virtually staying indoors — someone from Gonobhaban and some others from ministers’ residences,” he said.
Fakhrul urged the ruling party leaders to come to people and talk to them to understand their pulses. “Arrange an election and create such a situation so that people can cast their votes and only then you will see your actual position. You won’t even get an escape route.”
He said the next election must be held under a non-party and neutral government, enabling people to freely exercise their right to franchise and elect the representatives of their choice.
The BNP secretary general said bureaucrats are now running the country as they have become more powerful than Awami League.
“Where’s Awami League now? Amla (Bureaucrats) League is now all in all. Wherever you go, you will see DC, SP and OC hold big power. They’re even bigger than them (Awami League leaders). They themselves say that the king of fish is hilsa and the king of the country is police,” he observed.
Fakhrul said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her government must be held accountable someday for creating such a situation in the country.
He urged the leaders and activists of Krishak Dal to strengthen their organisation and play a role in the upcoming movement for forcing the government to quit and restore the election-time neutral government system.
“We’ve many expectations from those who came to new leadership. We hope Krishak Dal will truly become an organisation of mass people. Revitalise Krishak Dal and reach out to people at this bad time so that we can remove the current monstrous regime and establish a government and parliament of people,” Fakhrul said.
He also asked the newly-formed partial committee of the Krishak Dal to constitute a full-fledged one within a short time.