BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir have said that Bangladesh has not been a democracy for the last ten years and the democracy we see is ‘laughable’.Fakhrul said ‘this opinion’ had been formed by the way the country is being run –the situation in parliament, elections mechanism, the government’s incarceration of opposition activists, the closure of online media outlets and prosecution of the editors.“The government’s control mechanism is so evident that foreign dignitaries do not meet with the country’s opposition party when they are visiting,” he said.
“They do not consider us a valid opposition. They believe we have been tamed. Should we call it a democracy?”He made the comments at a meeting celebrating the Labour Party coalition’s 39th anniversary in Dhaka’s Segun Bagicha on Saturday.Quoting the Jatiya Party leader, Fakhrul said “even they are saying that we do not have a democracy, so no one bothers to meet with us.”“It is truly a laughable situation. People see the state of our government, of our democracy and they laugh.”He said that “from 2006 to 2016 – for 10 years we have not had democracy in this country. For 10 years the government has deprived the people of their right to express their opinion.”“With the stroke of a pen the government closed 37 online newspapers in one day,” he said.“They speak of democracy but rule through threats. The government has even threatened to kidnap children in an effort to keep people quiet.”The BNP secretary general urged the opposition parties to join together and pressure the government to hold elections under the observation of an independent caretaker government.“This is a very difficult time,” he said. “But do not be disheartened. We cannot allow anything to divide us.”