Khaleda for fresh polls: 'Democracy killed thru 05 Jan election'

Khaleda for fresh polls: ‘Democracy killed thru 05 Jan election’


BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia said on Wednesday that the January 05 polls amounted to killing democracy and violation of the constitution as the government was out to make its power secure by sidetracking its promise to hold an inclusive election soon after the last polls, it said,  was meant to fulfill constitutional obligation.
Addressing a hurreidly called press conference at her Gulshan party office Khaleda Zia placed a seven-point demand for a fresh inclusive national election under a neutral administration at the soonest.
Four other demands are supportive of the first demand. They are: reconstitution of the Election Commission with honest, neutral and competent persons, dissolution of Parliament and the cabinet immediately after announcing an election schedule  and formation of neutral caretaker governmentwith consent from contenting parties, deployment of armed forces in aid of the civil administration during the elections giving magistracy power, arrest of criminals and recovery of illegal arms before the start of election campaigns.
The demands also include withdrawal of officials known for their bias or controvertial nature from law enforcement agencies and the administration and keeping them off-duty during the polls; withdrawal of politically-motivated cases filed against the opposition leaders and activists, and reopening of all newspapers and satellite television channels closed during the tenure of this government and release of all journalists including Mahmudur Rahman from Jail.Khaleda Zia said that the BNP-led 20-party alliance will observe the January 5 as ‘Democracy Killing Day’ by holding countrywide rallies and demonstration with black flags.
As part of the programme, the alliance will hold a rally in the capital on January 5, the BNP chief said hoping that the government will not hinder their programmes in any way.
She said that the suffocating situation that has developed in country should be brought to an end. Otherwise the esistence of Bangladesh as a state would be threatened, she cautioned adding that there was no alternative but to form a government based on the people’s consent through a proper, peaceful, free and fair well-contested parliamentary election without any further delay to end the prevailing crises.
Khaleda Zia began her statement by spelling out greetings of the new calendar year and making mention of the month of victory of the Wat of Independence, and said that ownership of Bangladesh created at the cost of lives of lakhs of shaheed were now not with the people. She said that the Awami League has done away with the system of caretaker government by passing the controversial 15th Amendment, and has crearted a constitutional crisis by changing the constitution unilaterally at will.
The BNP chairperson said that the government has exiled hard-earned democracy and imposed one-party rule on the people. It has turned election into a frace she said adding no real opposition took part in the 05 January election. But the government is claiming that through that polls the constitution was safeguarded. The constitution provides for election in 300 seats of parliament through ditrct voting of the people, but election in a majority of 154 seats was declared elected unopposed. In the rest of the seats not even 5 percent voters did cast their votes, she said. Young voters who became eligible to cast votes were deprieved of their right of franchise, she said.
The government, the cabinet and the Parliament, the Speaker and the opposition have turned unrepresentative. The people and the international community did not accept this way of clinging on to power, she said. The national crisis created as a result has continued to deepen because of longivity of this type of rule.
She said that as the government did not rely on people’s mandate, it has no commitment to their welfare and has no accountability. Rejecting the assertion that the constitution had been saved through 05 January polls Khaleda Zia said through a voterless and uncontested election the constitution has been voited and democracy killed. Such a government cannot have the right to rule the country, she said.
Khaleda said those who are in power want to throtle the voice of dissent. They call parrallel meeting to foil BNP’s meeitng and said that the Gazipur meeting was foiled in a fascist way. Opposition meetings and processions were attacked by police but pro-government activists openly demonstrated with arms under police protection. She said that her party and alliance has been continuing political activities by excersing the maximum restraint. Even her motorcade was attacked by armed people under protection when she went to appear in court in ‘a false case’ bus police filed cases against scores of Chhatra Dal activists, she said.
Khaleda Zia said anybody protesting the injustice of the government is facing abduction, enforced disappearance, murder or false cases. They speak in the language of terrorists and goons, she said asking them to behave because more governments would come to power in future and result of the injustices might be dangerous.
Accuding the ruling party activists of extortion, snatching, illegal possession, tender-snaching, arms welding, attacks, repression on women, capture of property of minorities, dealing with contraband trugs, smuggling, she said that public life has been adversely affected as a result. In the last five years a hundred BCL membenrs were killed only in factional fights. The murder of students and teadchers in public universities of Rakdjahi, Sylhet and Chittagong stunned the people, she said. Extrajudicial killings, abductions and enforced disappearances made the news media full of new and pictures of deaths of people. There is no security of life in the country, she said alleging that some members of Rab and Police have taken roles of goons or workers of the ruling party. They no longer function under the purview of the law. The murder of 11 people in Narayanganj made crustal clear the activities of a section of members of the Rab, she said and demanded abolition of the force.
She said that statements submitted to the Election Commission revealed the properties of ministers increased many times during the last few years. In name of quick rental power, Padma Bridge thousands of crores of take have been looted whie the stock market has been plundered. The list of corruption of these people starting from arms purchase to blackcat of railway is quite long, she said adding that their greed has gone too far even to steal gold from memorial plaques given to friends of the War of Liberation.
She said that the government often tried to fool the people by trying to shift the responsibility of their inefficiency and failures on the opposition. But the pople have now understood that their only successes are in the sacrifice of national insterst, lying, terrorism, illegal possettion, politicisation, torture and corruption. The people want an end to the national crises that have deepened under the present government, she said. – Staff Reporter


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