PM rules out army takeover

PM rules out army takeover

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Emphasising the importance of having respect for the Constitution and democratic practice by all, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ruled out the possibility of grabbing power by the army what had happened in 2007. “We strongly cling to democratic path and I don’t think what happened in 2007 will recur. We must go on applying and respecting the constitution,” she said in an interview with the Kuwait Times. Commenting on the current political crisis that poses a threat to the next parliamentary elections at the beginning of next year and the possibility of the army coming back to power like what happened in 2007, Hasina said she strongly believes in democracy and enabling people’s rule. She also noted that her cabinet had run many parliamentary elections transparently and peacefully and that the opposition had won on many occasions. “Meanwhile, we all recall that when the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-BNP conducted the elections in 2004, over 250 people were killed and polling was scandalously forged and manipulated under the threat of weapons,” she reminded, underlining that no such incident took place under her cabinet. “We ensured having transparent polling lists after excluding the names of 12.3 million voters registered for the sake of forging the results. Today, voters come up with their polling-cards and their respective photos on them, which leaves no room for manipulation,” she said, explaining that transparent polling boxes were used in all stations. “In 2007, we had no election because of the situation and the president at that time, who was a Bangladesh Nationalist Party member, imposed a state of emergency. It was he who handed power over to the army, we don’t want to repeat what happened in 2007,” she stressed. Hasina added that she was jailed along with the leaders of her party when they insisted on returning to Bangladesh despite threats. The Prime Minister said she insisted on defending herself to refute the false accusations in the court of law. “I was allowed to return, then was arrested and put in solitary confinement. Then what happened? Even Bangladesh Nationalist Party members, including chairlady Khaleda Zia were imprisoned and she had to learn her lesson from that,” warned Hasina. Hasina wondered why her country cannot follow in the footsteps of the US, Malaysia or Australia and other countries where elections are systematically run. She also stressed that it was the opposition that is pushing to repeat what happened in 2007. “But this will not happen because we hold on to democracy and will protect it. No one will stop the Awami League from defending our principles and constitution,” she vowed, adding that Bangladesh had witnessed 19 military coup attempts over the past 38 years. “Such a state cannot be allowed to continue. We will supervise the elections and will not allow any manipulations.” – UNB

 

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