BNP sets Khaleda's release as condition to joint next polls

BNP sets Khaleda’s release as condition to joint next polls

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Dhaka, July 20 – The BNP on Friday made the release of party chairperson Khaleda Zia as number one condition for their participation in the next general elections.“Our demand is clear – our leader has to be released to hold the elections. It is our first precondition. There will be no election keeping deshnetri (leader of the country) in the prison. The countrymen will not allow it,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir while speaking a mammoth rally in front of party central office at Naya Paltan in the city.
He further said the government has to resign, parliament should be dissolved, Election Commission should be reconstituted and the army has to be deployed to hold the next general elections.
Echoing the party secretary general, senior BNP leaders also put the release of former premier as the primary precondition for the new national polls.
The release of Khaleda, democracy and next general elections are tied in the same string. Khaleda has to be released to hold the elections. No election will be allowed in Bangladesh until she (Khaleda) will not be released, the leaders asserted.
The BNP that had boycotted January 5, 2014, general elections, organized the open rally after about two years demanding the release and better treatment of its chairperson Khaleda Zia who is serving five years in jail a graft case since February 8 this year.
Chanting different slogans demanding the release of Khaleda Zia, thousands of party leaders and activists in groups took part in the rally began at 3:00 pm that turned into a massive gathering.
The BNP was given verbal permission with a string of conditions including completion of the rally by 5:00 pm after more than two years.
Mirza Alamgir, who presided over the rally, greeted the recently formed 8-party left-leaning alliance, saying that they placed the people’s interest issues.
“We do hope that the other political parties will also work to get united the people from their own stance in a bid to create greater national unity to get relief from misrules of the government,” he said.
He thanked the party leaders and activists to show their unity and called upon them to continue the trend through their same presence in the future course of action.
“Our victory has to achieve only through movement, movement and movement,” he said.
The BNP leader said none of the people is safe in the country and they want to bring about the change of the situation.
“We want to get back our rights, rights of votes, rights of holding rallies and meetings, freedom of expression. We want a congenial atmosphere so that journalists can write without fear,” he said.
Mirza Alamgir said that the government does not want to hold an inclusive election as the know if there is a participatory election they will not get 20 seats even.
Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said the government wants to hold another farcical election and come to power again by keeping Khaleda outside the election process and controlling the administration and judiciary.
He warned that there would not be any election in the country without their chairperson and they won’t allow it.
BNP leaders Barrister Moudud Ahmed, Mirza Abbas, Dr Abdul MOin Khan, Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, Dr AZM Zahid Hossain, Amanullah Aman, Abul Khair Bhuiyan, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal among others, also spoke at the rally.
As per schedule, the rally started in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office in the capital around 3:00 pm with thousands of leaders and activists gathered there.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) gave permission to BNP to hold the rally upon 23 conditions, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Rizvi Ahmed said at the programme.
BNP got the go-ahead when Abul Khair Bhuiyan, an adviser to Khaleda Zia, met the DMP commissioner at his office on Thursday.
Earlier on July 15, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced that his party will stage a demonstration across the country including the capital Dhaka today demanding the release of the party Chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail and her better treatment. – Staff Reporter

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