Had a plan to return to barracks: Ershad

Had a plan to return to barracks: Ershad

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Disclosing that he had a plan to return to the barrack in 1984 after holding a national election, Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad on Saturday said his party would not have been created had the major political parties joined that polls.Speaking at the 8th National Council of Jatiya Party at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh, he also claimed that the party was founded to restore democracy in Bangladesh, and took a vow to take it back to power.
The former military ruler also called upon the leaders who left his party at different times to return to it.
“You all know the reason behind Jatiya Party’s formation. It was founded to restore democracy in the country. Had the democratic journey been smooth and it not been stigmatised at that time (1982) the necessity of launching Jatiya Party wouldn’t have emerged,” he said.
The Jatiya Party chief continued, “The power was bestowed upon me in 1982 as the Army chief. The then President handed over power to me expressing his inability to run the country. Had there been any other person in the post of Army chief in place of me, he or she would have taken the same responsibility.”
Mentioning that he had announced to hold a national election in 1984, Ershad claimed, “My plan was to return to barrack after handing over power to elected representatives through the polls. Major political parties boycotted the election. Had the political parties joined that polls Jatiya Party wouldn’t have founded.”
The Jatiya Party chief said his party which was established on January 1, 1986 is still in politics and in a good shape overcoming so many obstacles and adversities. “Jatiya Party was in power and now is the main opposition party. We’ll return to power in the days to come. We all take a vow from here to work hard and strengthen the party to this end.”
He lamented that the country’s election system has got jeopardised for the Election Commission’s utter failure.
Stating that his party was against the government’s decision to hold the local body polls along party line, Ershad said 84 people have so far been killed in violence during Union Parishad elections. “No one accepted the elections.”
He demanded a reform in Jatiya Sangsad election system introducing an option to elect parties instead of candidates. “The voters will directly cast their votes in favour of parties not candidates, and the parties will nominate their candidates as per the percentage of votes they get. Every party will get three MPs for one percent of votes.”
The Jatiya Party chairman claimed election violence will be reduced significantly if the election system is introduced.
Addressing the council, party senior co-chairman and leader of the opposition in parliament Raushon Ershad also called upon leaders who joined other parties abandoning Jatiya Party to return to it. “If you return, we’ll gladly accept you.”
She said they will strengthen the party and restore discipline in it after identifying the problems the party is now facing.
Party co-chairman GM Quader urged the party leaders to get united putting aside misunderstandings and conflicts among them to make Jatiya Party a stronger and vibrant party.
At the council, Ershad dissolved the existing central committee of the party.
Later, party councillors reelected him party chairman through voice votes.
Besides, Raushon Ershad was elected party senior co-chairman while GM Quader co-chairman and Ruhul Amin Howlader secretary general the same way.
The councillors also empowered Ershad to appoint the rest of the officer bearers of the committee.

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