Opposition for greater unity with scant plan for fair polls

Opposition for greater unity with scant plan for fair polls

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Dhaka, Sept 5 – Top leaders of opposition political parties at a discussion meeting in the city on Wednesday called for a greater unity on the basis of minimum-programme to ensure holding of the next general elections under a neutral government. The leaders expressed their vow to take to the streets soon to force the government to hold the elections under a neutral administration after the dissolution of parliament, reconstitution of the Election Commission (EC) and deployment of armed forces during the polls.
The leaders involved in greater unity process spoke from a single podium at Jatiya Press Club amid the speculations that the BNP-led 20-party alliance, Prof Dr Badruddoza Chowdhury led Jatiya Oikya Front and Gano Forum president Dr Kamal Hossain led unity process are going to announce simultaneous programme on common issues.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Gano Forum president and convenor of national unity process Dr Kamal Hossain, convenor of Jatiya Jukta Front Prof Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, president of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal ASM Abdur Rab spoke at the meeting with convenor of Nagorik Oikya Mahmudur Rahman in the chair.
They came down heavily to the government and the EC for their ‘suspected move’ to introduce electronic voting machine (EVM) system during the next polls and questioned as to how the process to procure the EVM machine were taken before a decision in this regard was taken.
The leaders lambasted the government for holding camera trail of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia in Zia Charitable Trust graft case and termed it a violation of the constitution.
Nagorik Oikya organized the meeting on boycotting EVM, the national election and political alliance.
Speaking the meeting, BNP secretary general Mirza Alamgir called upon all political parties, organizations and individuals to get united to protect the country, its independence and sovereignty and democratic rights.
“We are working on national unity… We call all to get united for the sake of the country, its sovereignty and people and the democratic rights. We want greater unity on the basis of a minimum programme,” he said.
He alleged that the independent country has been inundated and called all to get united and rescue it.
Accusing the government of carrying out repression on the opposition leaders and activists, he termed the repression unprecedented and worst than that of Pakistani rulers during the war of liberation in 1971.
He mentioned the reported ghost cases filed across the country implicating the BNP leaders and activists saying that the government has been implementing its blueprints to stay the opposition leaders and activists from the election field as it did in case of chairperson Khaleda Zia.
The BNP leader reiterated the party demand to free its chairperson Khaleda, dissolution of parliament and reconstitution of EC before the announcement of the poll schedule, deployment of the army during polls and refrain from EVM.
He mentioned that they repeatedly called upon the government to find out a solution to the prevailing political impasse by shunning its arrogance.
Dr Kamal Hossain put emphasis on the need to forge a greater unity and called upon all irrespective of parties, religion and cast to get united for the sake of the nation and the country and uphold the values of the constitution.
He mentioned that the youth had played the pivotal roles during all the crises in the country including the war of liberation and hoped that they would also play their due role this time.
Dr Kamal, also a key leader national unity process, said they want to forge a greater unity on the basis of a minimum programme to hold the next general elections in a free and fair manner and keeping it out of the influence of the government and the EC.
He said the aim of the unity will be to establish pure democracy in the country which would be free from communalism, terrorism and corruption.
He said they believe in establishing multiparty democracy in the country instead of the existence of one-party rule or monarchism.
Prof Badruddoza Chowdhury said the country is passing through a crisis and said they would take to the streets soon to protect the country’s independence, sovereignty and democracy.
“The people have tolerated the absence of democracy for a long time, they are no more want to tolerate it. They want to establish democracy,” he said.
Terming the theory of having development without democracy idiotic one, he said democracy must be needed with development.
He said they need a qualitative change of politics, balance in powers and they do not want to repetition of terrorism, corruption and killing and incidents of enforced disappearances.
Criticizing the government for its move to introduce EVM system, he said the government has been exposed as it has lost its confidence on people and depended on machines.
The former president called upon the government to withdraw its restriction on holding rallies and meetings if they want to hold the election in a free and fair manner.
JSD president Abdur Rab questioned the fear of the ruling party leaders that 100,000 people would die if the BNP is voted to power.
He also called upon all irrespective of political parties, members of civil society and religion to get united to implement the hopes and desire of the people and remove what he said the autocratic government.
He termed camera trial of Khaleda Zia violation of Article 35 of the constitution.
Rab said he called for national unity saying that there is no alternative to forge a national greater unity to remove the present government.
Mahmudur Rahman Manna said they are getting united on five-point demand including holding an inclusive and free and fair election under a neutral government and dissolution of parliament and deployment of the army. – Staff Reporter

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