ঢাকাশনিবার, ২রা মার্চ, ২০২৪ খ্রিস্টাব্দ

No need to teach me about free and neutral elections : PM Hasina

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অক্টোবর ৬, ২০২৩ ৯:৩০ অপরাহ্ণ
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday said she should not be lectured about the arrangement of free and fair elections as it has been her party, Bangladesh Awami League, which established the voting rights of the people in the country.

“No need to teach me about free and neutral elections. Because, we’ve established the voting rights of the people of Bangladesh through struggles and movements under the leadership of Awami League,” she said told a press conference here.

The premier said this while replying to a question at the press conference arranged at her official residence Ganabhaban here in the afternoon about the outcomes of her recent visit to the United States to join the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

She said since such elections were held, the people voted for her party time and again. “This economic development has happened now as we’ve been in power in a row (for three consecutive terms).”

Hasina, the AL president, wondered why so many questions come now regarding the election.

“Has it become a matter of headache for all that a country has progressed so rapidly? I am also doubtful if it is an attempt that how it (this progress) can be destroyed now?” she said.

Bangladesh is due to hold the next general election in the first week of next January.

The PM said she told the international community that once Bangladesh had the government of the army, by the army and for the generals. It has changed now, she said, adding “It is we who have established the government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Sensing foul play in the call for free and fair elections, she said, “I doubt why all are talking much about free and fair elections when the country is marching forward economically. I’ve suspicion. Actually, it is an attempt to thwart the election,” she added.

In an oblique reference to BNP, she said those who know that they won’t get votes in the election are now currying favour everywhere (with foreigners).

“I don’t know if those who are in international stage understand the ground reality, but they’ve been harping on the same string and playing the broken record,” said the PM.

On Wednesday last, PM Hasina returned home from London after wrapping up her 16-day official visit to the US and the UK.

Deputy Leader of Parliament Matia Chowdhury, Road Transport and Bridges Minister and Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader and State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam and Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim MP, among others, were present on the dais.

None raises anything about caretaker government: PM

The PM said a firm no when asked if the US national security advisor Jake Sullivan said anything regarding the caretaker government during his recent meeting with her.

“No. No one said anything regarding the caretaker government…. None asked me anything about it,” she said.

The premier questioned whether anyone can seek the caretaker government after bitter experience under the system during the 2007-08 period. “It is BNP that destroyed the system,” she said.

BNP won’t be spared if it engages in violence again: PM

Mentioning that the government is not obstructing the BNP’s movement, she said they continue their programme drumming up the people.

It is good that some money goes to the pockets of the common people as they (BNP) are waging a movement using the money earned through looting and money laundering, she said.

“I asked not to tell them anything. Let them do movement. But if they want to do any harm to the people such as arson violence and such things, then we won’t spare them,” she said, adding that the people will resist them also this time if they unleash violence like in the past.

Those who shout on streets can’t be counted as opposition: PM

Answering a question, Sheikh Hasina said it is definitely essential that there is an opposition party in the country, but those who have no single seat in Parliament can’t be counted as the opposition.

She questioned how those who don’t contest in elections or can’t come in Parliament through polls can’t be called the opposition.

Noting that Bangladesh follows the Westminster-type of democracy, she said those who have seats in the opposition bench of Parliament are considered as the opposition in the democratic system.

“If anyone continues to bark on the streets , it is not counted as the opposition in the foreign countries,” she said.

In reply to a question, the prime minister said her party will pick the candidates for the next parliamentary elections, considering who are more acceptable to the people and who gained trust and confidence of the people by their works.

“We will consider those who have credibility among the people. I conduct a survey after every six months,” she said, adding that if anyone loses their position, the person is asked to work more and win the hearts of the people through work.

As her attention was drawn as BNP remarks that the PM returned home with empty hands from her recent foreign visit, she said BNP leaders are resorting to falsehood through loudspeakers. “It is their habit to tell lies. They try to undermine everything,” she added.

The premier asked the people of the country not to pay heed to the falsehood spread by BNP leaders.

She said they (BNP leaders) continue to announce a specific date to oust the government. “Let them do it. We don’t have any problem. I don’t mind it…. if the movement continues, it is good for her party,” she said.

The AL president said if a movement continues, AL leaders get revitalised because of the movement.