BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday said the next general election must be held under a neutral government.
“We would like to say it unequivocally that there’ll be no such election in Bangladesh where voters can’t go to polling stations. The election must be held under a neutral government and it must be conducted by an impartial election commission,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader also said before holding the next national election, the government will have to free Khaleda Zia and all other political prisoners and withdraw the ‘false’ cases filed against 35 lakh opposition leaders and activists. “Otherwise, no election will be allowed to be held in the country.”
Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club, marking its 43rd founding anniversary.
Fakhrul urged the government to take necessary steps and create an atmosphere conducive to constituting a neutral election commission.
“You (govt) are talking about the formation of a law for constituting the Election Commission… people won’t accept it if you pass a unilateral law for your own benefit in parliament and form the Election Commission under it,” he said.
The BNP leader alleged that the government has politicised all the state machinery. “You (govt) have politicised the judiciary, administration and the law enforcement agencies. Even, you’re trying to politicise the army. We now can't speak up and write freely.”
He said journalists also cannot write anything now without fear as they are being harassed and implicated in cases under the Digital Security Act.
Fakhrul said the people of Bangladesh who liberated the country through a long battle will never accept an authoritarian and one-party rule.
He urged the leaders and activists of Mohila Dal to get united for waging a strong movement for the restoration of democracy and having Khaleda Zia freed from jail.
Speaking at the programme, BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy said there is no other alternative for their party to waging a one-point movement for ensuring the fall of Sheikh Hasina.
“We’re trying to forge a strong national unity to force Sheikh Hasina to quit for holding a free and fair election… we won’t get any benefit even if the next election is held under an ‘angel’ keeping Sheikh Hasina in power.”